Five men believed to be affiliated with MS-13 have been indicted by a grand jury for the murder a 16-year-old whose body was found near Loch Raven Reservoir in late May, according to Baltimore County police.
Gabriella Alejandra Gonzales Ardon had been missing from Glen Cove, New York since March 2019 when her body was found by a pedestrian shortly before 10 a.m. May 29 along Merryman’s Trail in the woods off Pot Spring Road near Colonnade Road in Cockeysville.
She was pronounced dead at the scene by Baltimore County police.
Ardon’s family had reported her missing from Glen Cove in March 2019, according to Nassau County police on Long Island. Her family identified Ardon by photos of her tattoos circulated by police on social media.
Nassau police at the time said they believed Ardon was traveling to Baltimore.
Jonathan J. Pesquera-Puerto, 19; Edys O. Valenzuela-Rodriguez, 20; Wualter Hernandez-Orellana, 19; Asael Ezequie Gonzalez-Merlos, 16; and Wilson Art Constanza-Galdomez, 21, were already in custody at the Baltimore County Detention Center for other alleged crimes, police said.
Pesquera-Puerto, Valenzuela-Rodriguez and Hernandez-Orellana were arrested in June and are facing charges of second-degree attempted murder, assault and kidnapping in connection with the stabbing of two teens in Turner Station.
Police said the men knew Ardon and that the suspects may have targeted her and lured her to the park where she was killed because they believed her to be involved with a rival gang.
All suspects are being held without bail, and have been charged with murder.
MS-13 is a gang which law enforcement experts say counts thousands of members across the country. In Maryland, federal prosecutors have said it has operated primarily in Anne Arundel, Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
This story may be updated.