MS-13 gang members accused of killing teen claimed Satan 'wanted to soul,' police say - The Washington Post

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Here's what you need to know about MS-13, a street gang with an international reach. (Claritza Jimenez / The Washington Post)

The Houston police sergeant who faced reporters Friday grimaced with each question. What did the dead girl say? How was MS-13 involved? Should people be frightened?

There was not a lot of interest when the 15-year-old's body was found more than two weeks earlier , lying in a street with bullet wounds.

But sensational details of her death had trickled out, and now the reporters wanted to know more.

The investigation was ongoing, Sgt. Chris Sturdivant said. Not even the victim's name could be released.

But after so many questions, Sturdivant finally made the same startling claim as prosecutors:

A few days earlier, two men had been arrested, each charged with murder and aggravated kidnapping, accused of holding three girls in an apartment controlled by their small branch of Mara Salvatrucha, or Ms-13 - a transnational street gang with a reputation for extreme violence.

Two of the girls survived. Miguel Angel Alvarez-Flores and Diego Hernandez-Rivera showed up in their shorts, as seen in the Houston Chronicle's courtroom video. Alvarez-Flores, who prosecutors said the cell under his gang name, "Diabolico," grinned and waved at TV cameras before a prosecutor related to the account of a 14-year-old who managed to escape the apartment. p> The girls were held in the apartment with six MS-13 members, led by Alvarez-Flores , authorities said. Formed in El Salvador's civil war, the gang is believed to have more than 6,000 members in the United States, according to CNN.

In the Houston apartment, the prosecutor said, "Diabolico" kept a satanic shrine.

['What we now have a civil war' / p>

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"One night during her confinement, she observed that she had been told that she was the only one who had been told that she was a girl. an incident where Genesis made an outburst against the gang members' satanic beliefs, "the prosecutor said.

In the courtroom, Hernandez-Rivera brushed his nose. Diabolico (Alvarez-Flores) was offended at the outburst, "the prosecutor said. He approached the statue and offered it a cigarette. Then he walked back to the other gang members.

"The beast did not want material offering, but wanted to soul," Alvarez-Flores said, according to the prosecutor. When the girl next awoke, Genesis was gone.

She reappeared on the morning of Feb. 16, dead in the middle of the street near Houston's Chinatown area - in the ID, a ring of little elephants around one finger She had a bullet hole in her head, and another in her chest, both of which appeared to have been fired at close range, police said.

to piece together what happened. But on Monday, the Houston Chronicle reported, SWAT officers raided the apartment and arrested Alvarez-Flores and Hernandez-Rivera - both of whom allegedly involved in the girl's death.

[With two young people killed, two more bodies found, police see rising gang threat

"Prepare yourself; it is your turn, "Alvarez-Flores told Hernandez-Rivera after he returned from the shrine, the prosecutor said. Genesis.

A group of gang members drove off with the victim, the prosecutor said, telling her they were going to meet a marijuana dealer.

Instead, they pulled over. The teenager sat down in the grass.

In the courtroom. Alvarez-Flores's hand twitched as the interpreter asked the prosecutor to repeat the account of the killing.

But he said nothing, only nodding when asked whether he wanted a court-appointed attorney.

Police say both men, like most MS-13 members, are in the country illegally. They added that more cartoons could follow, as well as additional arrests in the death of the teenager.