Published: Thu, November 23, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Cops: Victim stabbed over 100 times, decapitated in brutal MS-13 killing

Cops: Victim stabbed over 100 times, decapitated in brutal MS-13 killing

Up to 10 members of MS-13 communicated on walkie talkies as they closed in on their victim at a recreational area in Wheaton, Maryland, say officials. The victim was taken to the medical examiner's office, which ruled his death a homicide by sharp force injuries.

One of the suspects, 19-year-old Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego, appeared in court on Wednesday, according to Montgomery Community Media.

Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego has been charged with first-degree murder.

In court documents, detectives describe learning of his body through a yet-unnamed informant in MS-13, an global criminal gang with a presence in the county and the region. The gang members then allegedly stabbed the man over 100 times, decapitated, and dismembered. "On Nov. 4, ICE lodged a detainer on Mr. Lopez-Abrego with the Avery County Sheriff's Department in North Carolina after his arrest by local authorities".

The charging documents state that the victim was choked, stabbed, decapitated and dismembered before his body was buried in a hole.

Police: MS-13 gang member arrested for murder; victim stabbed over 100 times
MS-13 gang member arrested in Md. murder; victim stabbed over 100 times

Few details are known about the man whose decomposing body was found September 5.

Before the victim arrived, Lopez-Abrego waited on the edge of the woods with a hand-held walkie-talkie, ready to tell the other gang members when the man arrived, the informant told police.

The victim, who authorities are still working to identify, was described as a 5-foot-2 Hispanic male, weighing around 126 pounds. He had short, dark brown hair.

Police have released few details about the unidentified victim, other than to say they believe he could be from the Annapolis area, according to the Annapolis Capital Gazette. They said he had a "missing bottom tooth near the front of tooth" that "would have been obvious when he was speaking or smiling". Investigators say the victim wore a gray sweatshirt with the words "First United Methodist Church Laurel".

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