Men Found Dead in Silver Spring, Wheaton Parks Were Killed by Gangs, State's Attorney Says

Body in Wheaton Regional Park had been beheaded, dismembered


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Crime tape marked off a grassy area just off a main parking lot in Wheaton Regional Park at the end of Shorefield Road the week the body was found. Police have not confirmed where the body was located.

Joe Zimmermann

Two bodies found in Montgomery County parks within a day of each other this month were the result of gang-related killings, State’s Attorney John McCarthy said.

On the night of Sept. 5, Montgomery County police found a decomposing body in Wheaton Regional Park and later announced the man was likely killed between December 2016 and March 2017. Police have not yet identified him.

The next day, a hiker notified police about a body in a stream near Long Branch-Arliss Neighborhood Park. Police later identified the body as Cristopher Alfredo Funes Guerra, 20, from Silver Spring.

Both men had been killed by gangs, McCarthy told Bethesda Beat Wednesday.

The body found in Wheaton Regional Park had been decapitated and dismembered, he said.

“I will tell you, you know when something is a gang killing,” McCarthy said. “These are horrible crimes.”

Montgomery County police are investigating both incidents as homicides.

McCarthy said he could not comment which gang was responsible or whether the two cases were related.

The gang killings come in a recent spate of gang-related violence. McCarthy said there have been 20 gang-related homicides in the county in the past two years as groups such as MS-13, Hit Squad and Latin Kings come to prominence in the area.

Several county men with ties to MS-13, a criminal gang linked to El Salvador, are facing murder charges for the killing of a Silver Spring man whose body was found near Frederick this summer.

Four people have been indicted and arrested, including men from Silver Spring and Boyds. The latest to be indicted is 20-year-old Luis Fernando Cruz-Rodriguez from Frederick, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Tim Clarke said Wednesday.

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