A 17-year-old girl is missing from her home in Fairfax County, Virginia, and police believe she is in danger following the killing of another teen girl.
Venus Romero Iraheta has been missing from her home in the Alexandria section of the county for nearly a month and is believed to be under the control of gang members, police said.
Two other teen girls who police say had contact with gang members have recently been found in Fairfax County. One teen returned home safe; the other was found dead.
Iraheta knew the teen who was found dead, 2nd Lt. Brian Gaydos said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
"Multiple overlapping investigations" are underway, he said.
Information on other cases informed the search for Iraheta.
"Due to recent developments in several current/ongoing investigations, detectives now believe Venus might be endangered," a statement issued by police earlier Tuesday said.
Iraheta left home with a black-and-red backpack full of clothes on Jan. 15, police said. She was last seen in Fairfax, Virginia.
"Venus was involved with known gang members, and threats had reportedly been made against her and her family," police said Tuesday afternoon in a statement. "It is believed gang members coerced her into leaving again and that she is now back under their control."
The teen, who attended Annandale High School, previously was reported missing Jan. 9 and had returned home safe by Jan. 13, police said.
Romero Iraheta stands 5-foot-1, weighs 115 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. She has tattoos on her left wrist and on her back. She was wearing a flowered shirt and green pants when she was last seen.
Anyone with information on Romero Iraheta's whereabouts is asked to call 911 immediately, or Fairfax County police, at 703-691-2131.
Two other teen girls who police say had contact with gang members have recently been found in the area.
Lizzy Colindres, 16, left home in Springfield with her infant son because she feared the baby's father, who had gang ties, police said. She returned home safe on Saturday after nearly a month.
Damaris A. Reyes Rivas, 15, was reported missing from her home in Gaithersburg, Maryland. There were fears for Reyes Rivas' safety because she had contact with gang members. Police found her body in an industrial park in Springfield on Saturday.
Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.