Update: Fairfax Police Arrest 10 in Death of Gaithersburg Teen
UPDATED, 7:45 p.m.: Fairfax County Police said four adults have been charged in the death of Demaris Reyes:
- Cindy Blanco Hernandez, 18, 11900 block of Winterthur Lane, Reston;
- Wilmer A. Sanchez-Serrano, 21, of no fixed address;
- Aldair J. Miranda Carcamo, 18, 7000 block of Skyless Way, Springfield; and
- Jose Castillo Rivas, 18, 5800 block of Brunswick Street, Springfield.
Each has been charged with abduction and gang participation, police said.
Six teenagers have also been charged with abduction and gang participation. They are 15-, 16- and 17-year-old girls; and 16- and two 17-year-old boys.
More charges are possible, police said.
UPDATED, 3:15 p.m.: Fairfax County detectives have identified four adults and six juveniles that they believe to be involved in the murder of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas, police said in a statement. Police said they believe the victim was held against her will, taken to Lake Accotink Park and assaulted before she was killed and left nearby in the 7100 block of Wimsatt Road. Detectives believe this occurred on or around Jan. 8, police said.
Nine of the suspects have been arrested and have been charged with abduction and gang participation, police said.
Original post: Damaris Alexandra Reyes, the missing 15-year-old Gaithersburg girl whose body Fairfax County police believe they have discovered, had left home before and she was in contact with her mother last month, Montgomery County police said.
Fairfax police spokeswoman Officer Tawny Wright said Wednesday the police believe the remains found near Springfield are Reyes, but they are awaiting for the completion of forensic studies at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Prince William County, Va.
Montgomery investigators are reviewing steps taken in this case as well as police department practices regarding critical missing persons, Capt. Paul Starks said.
“A girl lost her life. It’s a serious case,” he said. “We think we’re doing a good job. We want to make sure.”
According to a Montgomery police statement, Reyes’ mother reported the girl missing on Dec. 10, and in January, the teenager contacted her mother several times through social media. The girl said she was unharmed, not in danger and that she didn’t want to return home, police said.
Reyes had left home before, police said. On Nov. 21, Reyes’ mother had reported her daughter missing, but the girl returned home eight days later, police said. During the time, Reyes kept in contact with her mother.
Because of the girl’s behavior, her mother made plans to have her daughter live out-of-state with a family member, police said. When Reyes learned of the plan, she left home again on Dec. 10, police said.
After the mother reported the girl missing, Montgomery police filed a missing person report, which was filed with the National Crime Information Center and available to law enforcement throughout the country, police said. Her information and photograph were also placed on an internal county police website that is updated daily and reviewed by officers and other police department employees, police said.
Montgomery detectives from the Special Victims Investigations Division, which handles reports of missing juveniles, began an investigation into Reyes’ whereabouts, which included contacting Montgomery County Public School officials, as well as her friends and acquaintances. They also monitored Reyes’ social media account, her cell phone and conducted surveillance of areas she was believed to frequent, police said.
Detectives created a missing person flier that included the girl’s photograph and physical description. The fliers were distributed in Gaithersburg and areas within Fairfax County. Her mother posted the flyers on Reyes’ and her own social media accounts. Detectives continued to work with Reyes’ mother throughout the investigation to try to gain more information regarding the teenager’s location.
In mid-January, Fairfax County detectives notified Montgomery County investigators that they believed Reyes might be in the company of gang members there.
“We knew she was acquainted with gang members. We didn’t know to what extent,” Wright said.
At that time, detectives from both jurisdictions coordinated investigative steps and continued working together until the body was found Monday. Montgomery County detectives continue to remain in regular contact with Damaris’ mother and continue to work with Fairfax County investigators on this case, police said.
Reyes’ body was discovered Saturday in the 7100 block of Wimsatt Road near Springfield, according to a Fairfax police statement. The medical examiner ruled the death as a homicide.