HOUSTON - Two men who are charged with murder in the death of a girl whose body was found lying in a southwest Houston road on Feb. 16. appeared in court Wednesday night.
Police believe Miguel Angel Alvarez-Flores, 22, and Diego Alexander Hernandez-Rivera, 18, are MS 13 gang members from El Salvador.
Prosecutors said in court that a 14-year-old witness told investigators she was kidnapped, held against her will for several days at an apartment on Glenmont Road, and repeatedly sexually assaulted by members of the gang after she ran away from school one day.
According to prosecutors, the girl said that after four days she was given to a man named Flaco who moved her to another apartment where six other MS 13 gang members lived. The witness said she was forced to drink alcohol and take drugs while the gang members raped her.
The girl told investigators that at one point, the leader of the gang, Diabilco, held her down and tattooed the image of the grim reaper on her body from her knee down to her foot, prosecutors said. It was found that Diabilco is Alvarez-Flores, according to prosecutors.
The girl said that during her captivity, she met another girl at the apartment who was called Genesis, prosecutors said. She told investigators that one night Genesis made an outburst against a shrine dedicated to the gang members' satanic beliefs that offended Alvarez-Flores. In reaction to the outburst, he gave an offering of a lit cigarette to the satanic statue, prosecutors said, but then told the group that the beast did not want a material offering but wanted a soul.
The 14-year-old said the next day she woke up and Genesis was gone, according to prosecutors.
The witness told detectives she believes that the body found on Feb. 16 is Genesis, the girl she met at the apartment.
In a statement to police, Hernandez-Rivera, stated that Alvarez-Flores told him in Spanish, "Prepare yourself, it is your turn." He said it was an order to kill the girl, prosecutors said.
Hernandez-Rivera said they left the apartment and drove to the murder scene, according to prosecutors.
Initially, police said they were trying to determine if the girl was killed at another location and her body was dumped at the scene.
"The signs that I'm looking at would appear that she was killed somewhere else, brought here and then dumped," said Fil Waters, of HPD Homicide. "It looks like it was just rolled up, opened the door, rolled her out and left."
Later, witnesses reported hearing gunshots in the area where the girl was found.
Prosecutors said Hernandez-Rivera stated he and Alvarez-Flores got out of the vehicle and sat the girl in the grass on the side of the road.
Hernandez-Rivera told investigators that Alvarez-Flores pulled out a pistol and waved it, signaling that it was "time to take action" and for him to grab the gun. Hernandez-Rivera grabbed the pistol from Alvarez-Flores' hand, turned toward the victim and shot her in the head, prosecutors said.
The two men were walking back to the vehicle when Alvarez-Flores fired one more shot at close range into the victim's chest, prosecutors said.
The victim's body, clothed in a shirt, jeans and tennis shoes, was found about 7:35 a.m. near the intersection of Sharpcrest Street and Sam Houston Parkway South. Houston police said a man who was taking his kids to school found the body.
In a court appearance Thursday morning prosecutors said Alvarez-Flores gave a statement to police admitting that he was the leader of the MS 13 gang and he was acting on orders from someone else to kill Genesis.
“I’m always cautious to call a statement a confession because until I see it with my own eyes and see how it was obtained, it could just be a statement about what he saw or what he heard.” Emily Detoto, attorney for Hernandez-Rivera said. “Even if it was a confession, if it wasn’t constitutionally obtained, then it probably wouldn’t be admissible anyway.”
Hernandez-Rivera and Alvarez-Flores are both charged with aggravated kidnapping and murder and are being held on $150,000 bond for each charge. Both men have immigration holds, prosecutors said.
“There would be a multi-layer process for them to be able to walk about on the streets of our county,” prosecutor Lisa Collins said.
The identity of the victim known as Genesis is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Services.
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