ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Alexandria police announced Wednesday that two gang-related murders have been solved.
Police Chief Earl Cook said the murders were both carried out by members of the MS-13 gang. The victims were not in the gang, police said, but the murders were not random.
In November 2015, the body of Jose Luis Ferman Perez, 24, was found in Beverly Park by a woman who was walking her dog near a playground. The victim had been brutally slashed and killed.
Police said they have arrested three people connected to the MS-13 gang, including a 17-year-old male who is charged with murder. Police said a 16-year-old girl and an adult male will also be charged in the case.
In December 2015, Eduardo David Chandias Almendarez, 22, was found dead in Four Mile Run Park. An 18-year-old, Edwin Alexander Guerreo Umana, was arrested for that murder. Police said he is a member of MS-13 as well.
Chief Cook said MS-13 has gotten much more violent, and he is using resources from the FBI and Homeland Security to solve these cases as they stretch into other states. He said he knows the public is scared of MS-13 in their neighborhoods.
“All of this gang activity in this region, and many of you have reported on it recently in the last couple years, the intensity of the violence has risen a great deal in the last couple years. We unfortunately had two of the victims here in Alexandria die because of that violence,” said Chief Cook.
Cook said the victims and suspects were not American citizens and they were in the country illegally.
Police would not give a motive for either of the cases.