Hali Karlan and Deri Bonaventura-Flores (Credit: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

Alpharetta teen’s body found; 2 charged with murder

The body of an Alpharetta teen has been found in Middle Georgia, and two people were arrested in connection with the case, police said Saturday.

“We regret to inform you that a body found in Twiggs County is that of our missing juvenile Elijah Smith,” Alpharetta police said in a statement.

Elijah Smith. (Credit: Alpharetta police)

Police have charged Hali Karlan, 20, of Roswell, and Deri Bonaventura-Flores, 19, of Norcross, with murder, police told Channel 2 Action News.

Karlan is in the Fulton County jail, authorities said. Bonaventura-Flores is in the Polk County jail on an unrelated charge, and Alpharetta police have a hold on him, according to officials.

Karlan and Bonaventura-Flores met with Smith at the Extended Stay Hotel in Alpharetta on Tuesday, police said. The three left the hotel in a vehicle late at night. 

“Shortly after leaving, Smith was shot and killed inside the vehicle at an address on Old Milton Parkway near the hotel,” police said.

RELATED: Police searching for missing N. Fulton teenager

Detectives are trying to determine the exact motive for the shooting.

Smith’s body was driven to Twiggs County and placed in a rural wooded area off Glover Road near I-16, according to police.

On Thursday, Alpharetta police got a tip about the case. The Twiggs County Sheriff’s Office and the GBI assisted in finding the body Friday.

Smith’s body was taken to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office. The vehicle in which the crime occurred was found in Sandy Springs, police said.

In other news:

Deputies opened fire on a car load of people driving from a home invasion in Hall County.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.