HOUSTON, Texas — Two members of the Salvadoran gang MS-13, who are reportedly in the U.S. illegally, have been arrested and charged with kidnapping three teenage girls and killing one to appease Satan’s desire for a soul sacrifice.
Miguel Alvarez-Flores, 22, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18, have been charged with aggravated kidnapping and murder and now face possible life imprisonment. Bond has been set at $300,000 each, but immigration officials have decided not to set them free.
According to reports, Alvarez-Flores and Hernandez-Rivera lured three girls ages 14 to 16 into gang life, and in January, held them in their apartment against their will, where they were allegedly drugged and raped.
One of the teens, Gemesis Cornejo, 15, was killed after she struck the Satanic shrine that the men had erected in their apartment. Her body had been found in the street by a man driving his children to school. Police state that Cornejo suffered gunshot wounds to the head and stomach.
According to the witness, Alvarez-Flores, who also goes by the name “Diabolico,” sought to make a peace offering of a lit cigarette to the demonic image, but advised the other gang members that the “beast” rather desired a sacrifice.
“He returned from the statue and told the entire group that the beast did not want a material offering but wanted a soul,” District Judge Maria Jackson said in court, according to the Associated Press.
Hernandez-Rivera has allegedly confessed to shooting the girl. However, he and Alvarez-Flores showed little remorse as they smiled and waved at media cameras present in the courtroom.
Homicide detective Sgt. Chris Sturdivant told reporters that “[t]he majority of the MS-13 members we come into contact with are here illegally.”
In New York, 13 members of MS-13 were indicted on Thursday after being accused of being involved in seven killings over the past three years, including two high school students who were murdered with baseball bats and a machete last year.
Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, best friends, had been caught in the middle of the violence while going out for a walk on Sept. 13. Reports state that MS-13 had been on the hunt for rival gang members to kill.
“My message to the people of Brentwood and all of Suffolk County is that although we are keenly aware that nothing will ever undo the heartbreaking loss of Nisa and Kayla, we can take solace in the fact that their savage murderers will be held accountable,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini told reporters.
While U.S. officials note that MS-13’s estimated 30,000 members largely reside in El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala, an estimated 6,000 members are believed to be living in America. 125 members have been arrested since September.