Alleged gang members arrested in Langley Park teen's death
Teen was found dead; stabbed 72 times in Gaithersburg park
Four men and two women, all affiliated or members of the 18th Street gang, were arrested last week in connection to the stabbing death of a Langley Park teen whose body was found in Gaithersburg in January. Montgomery County Police believe more suspects may be involved.
Dennys Guzman-Saenz, 15, of 14th Avenue, was abducted at a bus stop on Jan. 18, according to a police statement.
For the first time, police described the night of Guzman-Saenz's death. On Jan. 18, 18th Street gang members were driving around Langley Park looking to find and harm a member of the violent street gang MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha. The date was significant because of the gang name, according to police. When they saw Guzman-Saenz, who was not in MS-13 but had friends who were, they posed as MS-13 members to determine if he was affiliated with the gang. Guzman-Saenz was abducted after he provided information about MS-13, police said.
Prosecutors said Guzman-Saenz was beaten and stabbed once in the car in Langley Park, according to a brief account given by Assistant State's Attorney Jeffrey Wennar at bond hearings for four of the suspects Monday. The gang members took the teen to a suspect's residence in Germantown, then to Malcolm King Park in Gaithersburg. Guzman-Saenz was taken to a stream in the park and stabbed 72 times, Wennar said.
A jogger found Guzman-Saenz dead in the park at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 19.
Late last week, police charged four people with kidnapping and murder in connection to the killing.
Ana Abarca, 18, of Reston, Va., and Ysaud Flores, 30, of the 9500 block of Tippett Lane in Gaithersburg, were both charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed robbery.
Joel Y. Ventura-Quintanilla, 22, of no fixed address, and David A. Lozano, 32, of Wonderland Way in Germantown are both charged with first-degree murder.
Also last week, police issued warrants for Daniel A. Zavala, 26, and Silvia Martinez, 19, both of Washington, D.C., charging them with first-degree murder, kidnapping and kidnapping a child under age 16. Zavala and Martinez were arrested in Washington on Sunday and remain in custody in D.C.
Prosecutors and police laid out the following scenario on Monday:
Ventura-Quintanilla was developed as a suspect after detectives received a tip from someone who only knew him by his nickname, Jhony. He was known to be a member of the 18th Street gang and detectives had a detailed description of his appearance.
Detectives identified associates of Ventura-Quintanilla and on Thursday saw them enter a vehicle in Wheaton. Police stopped the vehicle after several traffic violations, police said. Police saw Ventura-Quintanilla trying to hide a large knife. He and others in the vehicle were taken into custody. Ventura-Quintanilla was the only person in the vehicle to be charged in Guzman-Saenz's killing.
A second suspect involved in the stabbing was identified as Lozano, who was arrested and charged on Friday. The other suspects were arrested over the weekend.
At the time of Guzman-Saenz's death, Ventura-Quintanilla and Lozano were roommates in Germantown, according to prosecutors.
Police said that Ventura-Quintanilla, Abarca, Flores, Martinez and Zavala brought Guzman-Saenz to Malcolm King Park. Lozano and others drove to the park separately because they were called and told that an associate of MS-13 had been kidnapped and they could take part in his murder, police said.