Cops: Cigarette run ends with N. Fulton teen dead, dumped in woods

Elijah Smith

Elijah Smith

A police report has revealed new information surrounding the death of an Alpharetta teenager.

Elijah Smith, 16, had been missing from a hotel on Old Milton Parkway since June 13. Police found his body in Twigg County on Friday, and have charged two people in his death.

The report, acquired by Channel 2 Action News, says that Smith asked the two suspects for a ride to get cigarettes. Police believe Smith got into an argument with the two charged suspects — Hali Karlan and Deri Bonaventura-Flores— before he was killed. Smith was found on Friday around 3:15 p.m. in the woods just 30 yards off Glover Road in Jeffersonville.

Police believe that Smith met Karlan, 20, of Roswell, and Bonaventura-Flores, 19, of Norcross, through a mutual friend.

According to the report, Karlan told police Bonaventura-Flores got upset with Smith and they began arguing. Karlan said Bonaventura-Flores was jealous of Smith and felt threatened by him. Karlan also told police that the 19-year-old was drunk.

Bonaventura-Flores then made Smith get out of the car at a stop light and they hadn't heard from him since, Karlan said. But police said Smith was shot and killed inside the vehicle on Old Milton Parkway near the hotel.

“(Smith’s mother) is very heartbroken, and we are for her as well,” Jason Muenzer, an Alpharetta police officer, told Channel 2. “But she has been very cooperative and is working with us to bring this all to light.”

Hali Karlan and Deri Bonaventura-Flores (Fulton County jail)

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Smith’s mother last saw her son alive that Tuesday night at the Extended Stay Hotel on Old Milton Parkway. He was reported missing the following day. Alpharetta police received a tip on Thursday that led them to find Smith’s body in Twiggs County on Friday.

“Our detectives worked through the night and we were eventually able to develop a tip,” Muenzer told Channel 2.

Karlan is being held in the Fulton County jail and facing six felony charges, including murder. Bonaventura-Flores is being held in a Polk County jail on an unrelated charge.

Smith worked at a Waffle House for about a month off Old Milton Parkway. Channel 2 said that the people inside the restaurant who knew him were too upset to speak.

Staff writer Steve Burns contributed to this story.

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