11 suspected MS-13 members charged in killings of 2 teens found in Fairfax Co. park

Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler speaks to reporters March 3, 2017 about the discovery of two sets of human remains in Holmes Run Park. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

WASHINGTON — Eleven suspected members of the MS-13 gang have been charged in connection with the 2016 slayings of two teens whose remains were discovered buried in a Fairfax County park.

In a newly unsealed federal indictment from the U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Virginia, authorities said a group of the men lured a 17-year-old boy to Holmes Run Park in August 2016 where they attacked and killed him because they thought the teen was involved in a rival gang.

A month later, an even larger group of men suspected a 14-year-old boy of cooperating with law enforcement and lured him to the same park where he was attacked and killed, according to the indictment.

Both teens’ bodies were buried in the park.

All of the men charged are in their 20s — ranging from 20 to 27 years old — and all are originally from El Salvador, prosecutors said.

Police discovered the remains of the two teens in Holmes Run Park last March after police received a tip, which sparked an extensive two-day search of the park.

All of the men are charged with conspiracy to kidnap. One of the men faces an additional charge. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Below are the names of the men and their charges:

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

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