Jacksonville man charged with murder in death of 27-year-old

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Teresa Gorczyca was reported missing on Sept. 26, 2021. Police immediately began investigating her disappearance and searching for her.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville man charged with the September 2021 death and disappearance of a 27-year-old woman entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested 28-year-old North Samuel Cole Pridgen in March 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.

When an autopsy was conducted, bruising was found on Gorczyca’s arms stomach and neck.

The arrest warrant describes surveillance video of the couple walking together in the direction of a canal. The warrant says Gorczyca can be heard saying “you’re not coming with me”, “get out of my way” and “go home”, to Pridgen. 

Later on, Pridgen is seen walking back to his parent’s home, alone. He appears to be wet in the video, according to the warrant.

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

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



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