|FCPD Chief Roessler speaks to the press. [FCPD]|
The remains were found March 2 approximately 300 yards into the park from the intersection of Crater Place and Yellowstone Drive March 2. The police and FBI had been searching in the area for two days after receiving a tip.
This was definitely gang activity, Roessler said, but declined to identify the victims or give details on whether the murders took place in the park. The medical examiner will determine how long the bodies have there. While the chief declined to identify the gang, it’s been widely reported that MS-13 is responsible.
A representative of the FBI confirmed that gang activity is on the rise throughout the region. “We don’t know why there is heightened activity now This happens to be a current hot spot,” he said.
Roessler wouldn’t say definitely whether the bodies are connected to the two recent gang-related murders in Northern Virginia, including the discovery of the body of 15-year-old Damaris Alexandra Reyes Rivas near Lake Accotink Park, or the disappearance and return of two Fairfax County teenagers. At least a dozen suspects were arrested in February for the murder or Rivas or gang activities.
Roessler did say, however, that “It’s more than likely that the recovery of these bodies will be linked to another set of gang murders.”
This isn’t the first time Holmes Run Stream Valley Park has been a dumping ground for gang murders. In 2014, two bodies were discovered in the park, and six members of MS-13 were eventually convicted of murder and related crimes.
Roessler asked the community to help the police by providing tips. “We have murderers out there running around,” he said. “Young people are being sucked in by gangs.” The police department depends on tips from the public “to prevent gang tragedies like the one today.”