10 Suspects in Custody in Connection to Gang-related Killing of 15-Year-Old Virginia Girl

Ten suspects have been identified in connection with the gang-related slaying of a 15-year-old Gaithersburg girl who was held against her will, assaulted and then killed at a Virginia park in January, Fairfax County police said Wednesday.

The six juveniles and four adults, ages 15 to 21, are all believed to have been involved in the death of Damaris A. Reyes Rivas, police said. Nine are in custody and police said they are looking for the 10th, a 16-year-old girl.

The suspects in custody have been charged with abduction and gang participation, but police said they expect to file murder charges in the case as soon as Thursday.

Damaris voluntarily left home on Dec. 10, touching off a two-month investigation that now includes possible connections with at least three other cases — those of two teenage girls who went missing but have returned to their Fairfax County homes and the slaying of a 21-year-old man in Prince William County.

Police said they believe that Damaris probably was killed about Jan. 8 in Springfield’s Lake Accotink Park and that her body was dumped nearby, where it was discovered by police over the weekend. Police said video evidence led them to believe that Damaris was in trouble, but they did not disclose its nature.

Maria Reyes, Damaris’s mother, said Wednesday that she is relieved arrests have been made, but she still has more questions than answers.

“I’m still confused,” Reyes said. “I need to ask them why they killed my daughter. She didn’t owe them anything, so why did they kill her?”

At a Wednesday news conference, police declined to comment on a motive for Damaris’s slaying or the larger threads connecting the multiple cases.

The adults arrested were Cindy Blanco Hernandez, 18, of Reston; Wilmer A. Sanchez-Serrano, 21, of no fixed address; Aldair J. Miranda Carcamo, 18, of Springfield; and Jose Castillo Rivas, 18, of Springfield. The juveniles were not identified.

It was unclear whether any of the adults had attorneys as of Wednesday evening. Family members could not immediately be reached.

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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Justin Jouvenal and Michael E. Miller