Fairfax County

‘Bring Justice for My Sister': Body of Missing Virginia Woman Identified

A $40,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest as Hannah Choi's family pleads for answers. 

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A body found in a park in Charles County, Maryland, last week is that of a woman who went missing from Fairfax County, Virginia, earlier this month, police said Monday. 

Hannah Choi, 35, disappeared from her home in the Kingstowne area on March 5, police previously said. 

A community member found a body in a wooded area of Piscataway Park, police said Friday, saying they tentatively believed it was Choi’s body. The remains are Choi’s, police confirmed at a news conference Monday afternoon. 

Choi’s ex-boyfriend Joel Mosso Merino, 27, remains wanted for second-degree murder and disposal of a body. 

A $40,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest as her family pleads for answers. 

The victim’s younger sister, Minna Choi, asked anyone with information on Merino’s whereabouts to contact police. 


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“We ask that you please come forward and please help us bring justice for my sister,” she said as she fought tears. 

Maj. Ed O’Carroll of the Fairfax County Police Department spoke directly to Merino. 

“Joel, if you’re listening to me, turn yourself in. Surrender on your terms at a time and place of your choosing or be arrested on ours,” he said. 

O’Carroll called him “Fairfax County’s most wanted,” as Police Chief Kevin Davis previously did. 

Merino stands 5-foot-7 and weighs 230 pounds. He may be using a different name, and police have information he was in the Atlanta area. He bought a plane ticket to southern California before the killing. Police waited at the airport but he never arrived. 

Anyone who knows Merino’s whereabouts is asked to contact police. 

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