A jury has convicted a suspect in connection with the assault and murder of a local teenage girl whom police found dead in February.
The jury convicted Wilmer Sanchez-Serrano, age 21, in connection with the assault and murder of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas, confirmed Chief Deputy Clerk Gerarda Culipher of Fairfax County Court.
Reyes Rivas attended Watkins Mill High School before her mother reported her missing in December.
Sanchez-Serrano’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 23 at 10 a.m., according to Fairfax County Circuit Court records.
Media outlets reported Sanchez-Serrano’s conviction occurred Tuesday. Sanchez-Serrano faces as much as 33 years in prison, as recommended by the jury.
Authorities in February found Reyes Rivas’ body in Springfield, Va. Montgomery and Fairfax County detectives worked together to find the missing teenager. They said prior to finding her that she may have been connected with a gang in Fairfax.
Police said in February they believed she suffered upper-body trauma.
“As our investigation develops, we have determined that the victim was held against her will, taken to Lake Accotink Park and assaulted before she was killed and left nearby in the 7100 block of Wimsatt Road,” Fairfax County Police said in a news release.
Fairfax County Police took 10 suspects into custody in connection with Reyes Rivas’ death in February. Six of the suspects were teenagers and four were adults.
Reyes Rivas disappeared from home for eight days in November of 2016 and did not attend school. She communicated with her mother through social media. After her return, her mother made plans for Reyes Rivas to live out-of-state with a family member due to her behavior.
Reyes Rivas heard about her mother’s plans and left her home Dec. 10 and communicated with her mother through social media as late as January. Reyes Rivas said she was not in danger or harmed and that she was not interested in returning home.