More Suspects Arrested in Murder of Man ‘Lured' to Gaithersburg

Police say the suspects were involved in a plan to "lure" a man to Maryland to kill him

Three more suspects have been arrested in connection to the murder of a New Jersey man found dead in a shallow grave in Gaithersburg, Maryland, police say.

Hikers found 22-year-old Jordy Mejia's body in a wooded area of Gaithersburg, Maryland, on Nov. 12, 2016.

Reynaldo A Granados-Vasquez, 21, of Gaithersburg, 18-year-old Jose Israel Melendez-Rivera, of Montgomery Village and 17-year-old Katerine Solorzano-Aparicio, of Hyattsville, were arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Solorzano-Aparicio has been charged as an adult.

According to police, Mejia told his mother on Oct. 15 he was traveling from New Jersey to Maryland to meet a girl he had met on Facebook and would return the next day. She reported him missing three days later because she had not heard from him.

After Mejia's disappearance, his mother found long conversations he had on Facebook with someone who identified herself as "Shaila Smith." Police say Smith was not a real person and several of the suspects communicated with Mejia using the fake Facebook account.

In one message, "Smith" gave Mejia a phone number to call for someone that would take him to her. Police also listened to several voice messages "Smith" left on Mejia's Facebook account, court documents said.

On Monday, police arrested 19-year-old Neris Moreno, of West New York, New Jersey, and his girlfriend, 16-year-old Jackelin Leiba-Esperanza, of Brentwood, Maryland.

Police said Leiba-Esperanza confessed to recording the voicemails pretending to be Shaila Smith and said she did it for Moreno.

Moreno and Leiba-Esperanza have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in Mejia's death. Leiba-Esperanza has been charged as an adult.

Granados-Vasquez, Melendez-Rivera and Solorzano-Aparicio are being held without bond.

Police believe the suspects are tied to the MS-13 gang.

Police have not said how Mejia was killed and no motive for the murder has been released at this time.

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