The human remains found in a Fairfax County park earlier this year belong to two teenage boys missing since September 2016, a search warrant revealed.
The bodies of Edvin Escobar Mendez, 17, of Falls Church and Sergio Arita Triminio, 14, of Alexandria were found in Holmes Run Park March 3 after police received a tip, the recently unsealed search warrant says. The chilling discovery came during a surge in gang homicides.
Mendez and Triminio disappeared just weeks apart. Mendez disappeared in late August 2016 and his family reported him missing Sept. 1, 2016.
Later in September, Facebook information led his brother to track down a friend -- Sergio Triminio. Triminio gave him bad news, saying Mendez had been "abducted or killed" because MS-13 members thought he was a spy for a rival gang.
Two days later, Sept. 27, Triminio disappeared his worried mother contacted police to report him missing.
Triminio lived in an apartment not far from Holmes Run Park. Sergio's mother, Karla Triminio, told News4 that one night in September he walked to a dumpster outside their apartment to throw out the trash.
"He never came back," she said.
In December a reliable source told detectives both teens had been killed and buried by MS-13 members.
Detectives received a tip about the bodies buried in Holmes Run Park in late February, according to court documents. Police started searching there in March. Both bodies were found buried about 300 yards into the park.
At the time, Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler said he believed the deaths may be gang-related, as gang members have used the park in the past for crimes. In 2014, the bodies of two men were found in the park. The gang members who committed those crimes were convicted last year.
"It's more than likely that the recovery of these bodies will be linked to another set of gang murders," Roessler said during a news conference after the bodies were found.
According to court documents, Triminio was on probation and wearing a court-ordered electronic monitoring device when he disappeared. It stopped connecting the day he disappeared, police say.
The FBI is leading the investigation, but there's no word yet on arrests or charges.