Man charged with murder in death of 27-year-old woman whose body was pulled from Sandalwood retention pond


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Teresa Gorcyzca was reported missing in September and her body was found in a pond a few days later. Tuesday, police arrested North Pridgen on murder charges.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Note: The video above is from September 2021.)

A Jacksonville man is being charged with the September 2021 death and disappearance of a 27-year-old woman whose body was found in a retention pond in the Sandalwood area.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested 28-year-old North Samuel Cole Pridgen Tuesday on a charge of murder in the death of Teresa Janette Gorczyca.

Gorczyca was reported missing on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. Police immediately began investigating her disappearance and searching for her. During the investigation, detectives learned information that led them to a body of water in the 2100 block of Alfa Romeo Drive in Sandalwood, JSO said.

After an extensive search of the area, a body was discovered in the water. Police later identified the body as Gorczyca, according to JSO. JSO Homicide and Crime Scene units identified Pridgen as a person of interest in Gorczyca’s death throughout their investigation, and a warrant was obtained for his arrest.

Pridgen was found in the area of 10000 Beach Blvd. and interviewed about his involvement in the crime, then placed under arrest for murder, JSO said.

Gorcyzca’s cause of death was not revealed. In October 2021, First Coast News reported that JSO and the Medical Examiner’s Office were still investigating how she died.

Family members described Gorcyzca as joyful and loving. We spoke exclusively with her best friend since middle school, who did not want to be identified, but said Gorczyca was straightforward, funny and loving.

“She’s easy to talk to. You could walk right up to her and say, ‘Hey, I have something to ask you,’ or give her a hug. I was thankful to have her in my life. She was my best friend. She was everything to me,” her best friend said.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Best friend of Teresa Gorczyca, woman found dead in Sandalwood retention pond, speaks out

RELATED: Family, friends remember ‘joyful, loving’ woman found in Southside pond

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