Police: Suspects in Md. park murder believed to be associated with MS-13 gang

- Two people are in custody, and two people are wanted in the murder of a young man found dead in a Gaithersburg park last month.

Police tell FOX 5 the killing of Cristian Antonio Villagran-Morales was gang related.

Police say what is really concerning about all of this is that this was likely a status killing, motivated by the desire to rise within the MS-13 ranks. However, they couldn’t specify a specific reason this victim was targeted and stabbed to death at Malcolm King Park back in June.

“That young man was an 18 year old male his name's Cristian villagers-Morales,” said Dareen Frank, Director of Major Crimes. “He was stabbed over 40 times.”

Montgomery County Police said Thursday morning that two more suspects are still on the loose and should be considered armed and dangerous: Oscar Ernesto Delgado-Perez, 27, and Jose Coreas Ventura, AKA Josue Corea, 20. They were last seen in Wheaton area.

Montgomery County investigators believe Morales was tricked into the wooded area by 19-year-old Vanesa Alvarado who promised him sex, and then by the gang members who offered to smoke weed with him. Instead, he was murdered.

Alvarado was arrested, as was 16-year-old Juan Gutierrez-Vasquez who is charged as an adult.

“As we see one group escalating in its violence, often another gang or another group has to also match that level of violence,” Capt. Paul Liquorie, Director of Special Investigations.

There have been 10 gang related murders in the county in the past 10 months and six of those are linked to MS-13.

If you recognize of know the two outstanding murder suspects call Montgomery County police at 240-773-5070. Police do NOT believe the victim had ties to any gangs. He was originally from Guatemala, but his family now lives in New Jersey and was in Maryland working as a landscaper. 

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