Police said Friday they have arrested a suspect in the gang-related murder of 22-year-old Jose Hernandez-Portillo — more than 22 months after the Annapolis man was reported missing.
David Enrique Diaz-Alvarado, 20, of Annapolis, was arrested Wednesday and charged with the first-degree murder of Hernandez-Portillo, Anne Arundel County police said. In charging documents, police state Diaz-Alvarado was interviewed Wednesday and confessed to involvement in the murder.
At a press conference Oct. 6, county police Chief Tim Altomare said the murders of Hernandez-Portillo and two others were the result of gang violence but declined to identify the gang.
Police spokesman Marc Limansky said Friday, due to the ongoing investigation, he could not comment on whether Diaz-Alvarado is a part of a gang or what evidence led them to him. Limansky referred questions to the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office, which declined to provide additional information as the case is still open.
Hernandez-Portillo was reported missing on March 11, 2016. More than a year later, on Aug. 28, 2017, police found human remains in a clandestine grave at 600 Quiet Waters Park Road, according to charging documents. The next day the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide by significant sharp force trauma. Police identified the victim as Hernandez-Portillo on Oct. 26 after DNA testing.
In charging documents, police state a source of information revealed Hernandez-Portillo was lured to 600 Quiet Waters Park Road on March 11, 2016, where he was murdered and buried. The source told police Diaz-Alvarado was a participant in the murder.
Police on Friday urged anyone with information to call the county’s Homicide Unit at 410-222-4731 or the county police tip line at 410-222-4700.
Police said Diaz-Alvarado is being held without bond at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center. Online court records did not list an attorney representing him. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14.
“Right now we have more questions than answers,” said Hernandez-Portillo’s sister, who spoke to The Capital on the condition that she would not be identified because of fear for her safety.
On Wednesday, police contacted her to say they had arrested a suspect in Hernandez-Portillo’s murder.
“They just told me they had arrested someone who was a suspect in my brother’s death,” she said. "I asked why he was a suspect, but they didn’t tell me."
On Nov. 12, the family held a wake for Hernandez-Portillo in Annapolis and two days later his remains were sent to Honduras, where his mother held a funeral for him.
His sister said only a few family members attended the wake out of fear because his death was gang-related.
“We have a bunch of questions that have gone unanswered because nothing is known yet,” she said.
Hernandez-Portillo was one of three homicides cited by Altomare in October as the result of gang violence.
On Oct. 3, police found human remains — identified as 17-year-old Neris Goivani Bonilla-Palacios, of Annapolis — in a grave near where Hernandez-Portillo’s body was found. Limansky said no one has been charged in that homicide.
The body of Jennifer B. Rivera-Lopez, 21, of Annapolis, was found in a grave in Crownsville in September. Eight people have been charged in her death.
All three cases are still under investigation.
Latest Anne Arundel
Staff writer Phil Davis contributed to this story.