Editor’s note: Angelica Ivania Barahona-Rivas was located by Montgomery County police safe and unharmed on Feb. 28. Read more here.
WASHINGTON — A Maryland woman reported missing Saturday after leaving her job at a Gaithersburg Chinese restaurant is related to a teen who disappeared and was later killed in a suspected gang-related attack.
Angelica Ivania Barahona-Rivas, 18, of Gaithersburg, is the cousin of 15-year-old Damaris Alexandra Reyes Rivas, who was missing for nearly two months before police discovered her body in a Springfield, Virginia, industrial park earlier this month, police told WTOP.
Barahona-Rivas and her cousin lived in the same house, police said.
Barahona-Rivas was last seen working at the Wok Express in Gaithersburg at about 9 p.m. Saturday when she left before her shift was over, police said in a news release.
Family and friends told police they have not been able to contact her and are concerned, according to authorities. Sunday night, police said investigators believe Barahona-Rivas may be in the New Jersey area.
Barahona-Rivas is described as 5 feet 3 inches tall and about 150 pounds. At the time she left work, she was wearing a tan shirt, a tan skirt, a gray jacket, black boots and was carrying a pink purse, police said.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact Montgomery County police at 301-279-8000.
A total of 10 people have been charged in the gang-related disappearance and death of Reyes Rivas, who went missing in December. Police said they believe she was assaulted and killed near Lake Accotink in Fairfax County, Virginia, last month. Her body was discovered Feb. 11.
Police said the teen’s killing is connected to the death of 21-year-old Christian Alexander Sosa Rivas, whose body was discovered along the shoreline of the Potomac River in Dumfries, Virginia, last month.
The spate of deaths and disappearances is linked to a spike in gang activity in Montgomery County, most of it tied to the MS-13 gang, which has roots in Los Angeles and Central America.
Gang-related violence in the county spiked in 2016, police said, leading to nine homicides in an eight-month span.