11 MS-13 members charged in murder of two teenagers in Virginia

Eleven members of MS-13 have been charged with kidnapping two teenagers, ages 17 and 14, whose bodies were discovered buried in the woods in northern Virginia last year. Authorities claim each of the 11 gang members played some role in the murder of one or both boys. From Fox News:


Police uncovered the bodies of 17-year-old Edvin Escobar Mendez and 14-year-old Sergio Arita Triminio at Holmes Run Park in March 2017 after receiving a tip.

The two teens disappeared just weeks apart the prior year.

After Mendez vanished and was reported missing by his family, his brother tracked down Triminio – one of his friends – who revealed to him that Mendez was “abducted or killed” because the MS-13 members thought he was allied with a rival gang.

Two days after that reported conversation, Triminio, who lived near Holmes Run Park, disappeared while taking out the trash.

“He never came back,” his mother said.

All but one of the eleven men charged are immigrants from El Salvador. NBC 4 Washington reports the names and charges for each of the eleven individuals. Note the gang names of some of these individuals, i.e. “Killer” and “Horror.”

  • Elmer Zelaya Martinez, aka Killer, 27. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap
  • Erick Palacios Ruiz aka Cara de Malo, 20. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap
  • Ronald Herrera Contreras, aka Speedy, 20. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap
  • Josue Vigil Mejia, aka Horror, 21. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap
  • Henry Zelaya Martinez, aka Certero, 24. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap
  • Oscar Contreras Aguilar, aka Atrevido, 20. Charged with conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to kidnap
  • Yonathan Melgar Martinez, aka Oso, 21. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap
  • Pablo Miguel Barrera Velasco, aka Oscuro, 20. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap
  • Anderson Villatoro, aka Enterrado, 21. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap
  • Francisco Avila Avalos, aka Picador, 20. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap
  • Fredys Baires Abarca, aka Lil Clandestino, 20. Charged with conspiracy to kidnap.

El Salvador is listed as the country of origin for all 11 suspects. Ten of the men are in custody; police believe one of the men fled the country. Ten of the men are undocumented, and one has a green card.


The charges listed above mostly focus on kidnapping but the Washington Post reports, “prosecutors plan to seek additional charges against some defendants, some of which carry the possibility of the death penalty.” Also, according to the indictment, “each of the 11 defendants was involved in at least one of the slayings.”

For those not familiar with the area, this didn’t happen in some remote part of Virginia. The park where the bodies were buried is in the midst of a relatively well-off suburb about 10 miles from the White House. This tweet contains a photo of the two victims as well as a map showing the location the bodies were found:

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