Police Investigate Four Homicides in Fairfax County in Past Three Weeks

In just the past three weeks, four men have been murdered in Fairfax County -- but while the cases share some similarities, police say they don't believe they're linked.

In each of cases, the victim was Hispanic, and in two of the killings, the victims were left in wooded areas not far from neighborhoods.

The most recent homicide was Thursday afternoon. Officers were called to the 4200 block of Wadsworth Court in Annadale, where they found a man who had been stabbed. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, but hasn't been identified yet.

Police announced the arrest of 31-year-old Ubaldo Yanez on Friday.

Authorities say Yanez and the victim were homeless, living a vacant apartment that wasn't theirs.

"They were essentially squatting in an unoccupied apartment," said Officer Bud Walker of Fairfax County Police.

The first and second in the recent string of homicides both occurred March 16.

First, police found the body of 22-year-old William Leiva near Folly Lick Stream in Herndon shortly after noon. Police said Levia had trauma to the upper body. They're still investigating his death and say it may be gang-related, but no arrests have been made yet.

Later that afternoon, police discovered the body of 19-year-old Milton Angel in an Annandale creek behind an apartment complex. Fairfax County Police said Angel, of no fixed address, also had trauma to the upper body.

Ten days later, police responded to a home on North King's Highway in the Huntington area, where they found 64-year-old Santos Zelaya suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was airlifted to a local hospital, where he died.

While killings seem like an alarming trend, police say the statistics aren't out of the ordinary.

"It's not, historically speaking," Walker said. "We had 10 homicides in Fairfax County last year; at this time last year we had five."

That 2014 number includes four homicides in one month.

Walker said the fact that all the victims in these recent cases are of Latino descent also isn't significant.

"There's nothing that's particular about these homicides that tie them to the Hispanic community; it just happens to be again happenstance that the victims are Hispanic," he said.

Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler Jr. said police are still working to determine whether there are any gang connections.

"We're still investigating gang-related activity in a few of the homicides, but I don't have any conclusive answers for that at this point," he told News4 Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey.

Contact Us