New charges filed in murder of 15-year-old Montgomery County girl

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FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA — Police in Fairfax County have filed additional charges in relation to the killing of a 15-year-old Montgomery County girl.

Five of the ten people arrested in connection with the Damaris Alexandra Reyes Rivas case have bee charged with her murder. They are Jose Ivan Castillo Rivas, 18, of the 5800 block of Brunswick Street, Springfield, Va., Wilmer A. Sanchez Serrano, 21, of no fixed address, a 17-year-old Alexandria-area girl, a 17-year-old boy from Annandale, Va., and a 17-year-old boy from Springfield, Va.

"Savage, brutal killing. It was horrific,” said Fairfax County Police Chief Col. Ed Roessler at a news conference Thursday afternoon where police announced the new charges. The other five people arrested have been charged with abduction and gang participation.

At the news conference, law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions explained how they solved this case. It began when police in Prince William County realized the two missing persons cases involving teenaged girls in Fairfax County had links to a homicide investigation in Prince William County. Christian Alexander Sosa Rivas, 21, of Fairfax, was found dead near the Potomac River in Dumfries, Va. on January 12, 2017.

During the investigation, police found video evidence that Damaris Rivas had been murdered and where they might find her body.

Police would not comment on the investigation into Christian Rivas’ death or say if any arrests had been made.

Police did confirm that one of those charged with Damaris Rivas’ murder, Jose Castillo Rivas, is the same man who was linked to the disappearance of a 16-year-old mother and her baby.

Police said these cases are all connected to one gang in the area, but would not say which. The mother of the murder victim, who asked DCW50 News at 10 to not use her name, said it was MS-13.

"What did my daughter do to you? I really don't know why they killed my daughter," said the mother. She added her daughter got involved with the gang members through school and that she, the mother, tried to intervene when the school told her that her daughter was skipping classes. "When I found out I lectured her. But I don't know if it was too late."

Police said that gangs have been increasingly targeting middle and high schoolers to recruit into their ranks and urge parents to know what is going on in their children's lives and who they're hanging out with. It is a plea that Damaris Rivas' mother echoed.

"I don't want another mother or father go through what I'm going through. I tried I checked everything but maybe it was too late," said the mother.

As to the four adults that were arrested in Damaris Rivas' death, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has filed detainers for each of them.

“Within the last week, ICE lodged detainers on four individuals in the custody of the Fairfax County Police Department, Cindy Blanco Hernandez, Wilmer A. Sanchez-Serrano, Aldair J. Miranda Carcamo and Jose Castillo Rivas,” said an ICE spokesperson in a written statement.

The filing of a detainer does not indicate whether any of the four are in the United States legally or illegally, but is an indication to the Fairfax County Police Department that if any of them are released ICE would like to be notified ahead of time.