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26 Mar 2018

MS-13 member arrested in murder of man found decapitated with his heart removed

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Authorities have arrested a 19-year-old member of the MS-13 gang in connection with the stabbing death of an unidentified man whose decapitated body was found with the heart removed.

Police suspect up to 10 members of the gang lured the victim out to a park in Wheaton, Md., where they stabbed him more than 100 times before burying him in a grave in the woods, the Washington Post reported. Allegedly among them, Miguel “Timido” Angel Lopez-Abrego, who authorities recently arrested in North Carolina on Nov. 11.

He’s since been extradited to Maryland and has a bond review slated for Wednesday afternoon.

The victim was likely killed between December 2016 and March 2017, according to police. They discovered his body in the shallow grave on Sept. 5, WJLA reported.

On the day of the killing, a gang member allegedly “waited near the edge of the wood line with a handheld walkie-talkie radio to alert” the others when the victim approached, according to court records obtained by the Post.

Once he arrived, police said he was stabbed, decapitated and they later learned “his heart had been excised from his chest and thrown into the grave.”

Police believe the first attacker stabbed him in the chest with a 15-inch knife, according to the newspaper. He was also discovered with a missing tooth, which officials said may suggest he was either speaking or smiling at the time of his death.

The victim, who authorities are still working to identify, was described as a 5-foot-2 Hispanic male, weighing around 126 pounds.

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