Update:  Suspects Arrested in Homicide of Dennys Guzman-Saenz


Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division have been investigating the death of 15-year-old Dennys Alfredo Guzman-Saenz from the 8100 block of 14th Avenue in Hyattsville. His body was found on Monday, January 19, 2009, at the edge of a stream in the Malcolm King Park, located at the end of School Drive in Gaithersburg.

On Thursday, May 7, Joel Y. Ventura-Quintanilla, age 22, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of Guzman-Saenz. He is currently being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center.

Ventura-Quintanilla was developed as a suspect after detectives received an anonymous tip from an individual who only knew the suspect by his nickname, “Jhony”. Detectives had a good description of the suspect to include several missing upper teeth, and specific tattoos on his back and stomach. He was known to be a member of the 18th Street gang. Through the course of the investigation detectives identified associates of Jhony. May 7, detectives observed some of those associates enter a vehicle in Wheaton. After they observed several traffic violations, a traffic stop was conducted. Two knives were recovered from the vehicle. The four male suspects were taken into custody at that time. One of them was identified as “Jhony”, whose real name was determined to be Joel Y. Ventura-Quintanilla. The other suspects taken into custody were not associated with the homicide. As the investigation continued, a second suspect involved in the murder was identified as David Antonio Lozano, age 32, of the 13100 block of Wonderland Way in Germantown. He was located on Friday, May 8 and taken into custody with a warrant charging him with first-degree murder. He is also being held without bond.

Guzman-Saenz had left his home in Langley Park the evening of January 18, and walked to a metrobus stop in front of his residence with the intention of taking the bus to a friend’s house. Through the course of the investigation it was learned that Guzman-Saenz was forcibly abducted by five members of the 18th Street gang. Guzman-Saenz was not an official member of the MS-13 gang, but associated with MS-13 gang members. Eighteenth Street gang members were driving around Langley Park that evening. The date, 18, was significant to them because of their gang name and they were planning to find a member of rival gang MS-13 to harm. When they spotted Guzman-Saenz at the bus stop they stopped and talked to him, posing as MS-13 gang members so that they could determine if he was affiliated with that gang. Whatever information he provided about MS-13, it caused the 18th Street gang members to forcibly grab him, and drive away with him. It is believed that the group arrived in Gaithersburg near 8:00 p.m., and that the murder occurred no later than 8:30 p.m. on January 18. Guzman-Saenz’ body was later found by a community member cleaning up the park at 7:30 a.m. on January 19.

The investigation revealed that Ventura-Quintanilla and four other suspects brought Guzman-Saenz to Malcolm King Park. Lozano and others drove to Malcolm King Park separately because they were called and told that an associate of the MS-13 gang (Guzman-Saenz) had been kidnapped and they could take part in his murder.

After Ventura-Quintanilla and Lozano were in custody, detectives developed additional suspects. Ysaud Flores, age 30, of the 9500 block of Tippett Lane in Gaithersburg; and Ana Abarca, age 18, of the 12000 block of Greywing Square in Reston, Virginia, were taken into custody late Friday night, May 8 into Saturday morning, May 9. They had been with Ventura-Quintanilla in the car taking Guzman-Saenz to the park. They were both charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and armed robbery (Guzman-Saenz was robbed of $10). They are being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center. Warrants were obtained for Daniel A. Zavala, age 26, of the 1300 block of Randolph Street in northwest Washington, D.C. and Silvia Martinez, age 19, of the 1200 block of 4th Street in northwest Washington, D.C. charging them with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and kidnapping a child under age 16. They were also in the car with Guzman-Saenz going to the park. Both were arrested yesterday in the District of Columbia and remain in custody in Washington, D.C.

Additional individuals are believed to have been involved in the stabbing death of Guzman-Saenz and the investigation is continuing.

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