Montgomery County police announced Monday that the man found dead last Tuesday in the Northwest Branch Spring Valley Park Trail in Silver Spring was murdered and so far police have charged two teens with his killing. Officials are offering a reward to help identify additional suspects.
Police say the victim was Vitalino Montufar-Bautista, 18, of Adelphi. Monday evening’s police news release states that detectives have charged Noe Antonio Coreas-Mejia, 19, of the 1300 block of Merrimac Drive in Hyattsville, and Julio C. Rivas-Rosales, 15, of Adelphi with his murder. Rivas-Rosales is being charged as an adult.
This was the county’s 29th murder of the year. The county had 20 in all of 2014.
Last Tuesday, Montgomery County homicide investigators were contacted by detectives from the Prince George’s County Police Department about a possible homicide that may have occurred in Silver Spring, police said. Around 11:10 p.m., detectives were searching the area of the Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Trail near the innerloop of the Beltway when they discovered a body, later identified as Montufar-Bautista. Police say his body was found in the creek along the trail.
The following day police issued this news release confirming the discovery of the body without any speculation on a cause of death. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has since ruled the manner of Montufar-Bautista’s death a homicide and the cause of his death as multiple injuries, police said.
According to police, Montufar-Bautista had been missing from Prince George’s County since Dec. 16. “The facts and circumstances surrounding what occurred prior to that date are still under investigation,” states the police news report, “but detectives believe Montufar-Bautista was murdered at the Northwest Branch Stream Valley location the same day he went missing.”
Rivas-Rosales was taken to the Central Processing Unit and charged with one count of first-degree murder and ordered to be held without bond. Coreas-Mejia is currently incarcerated in Prince George’s County on charges by Prince George’s County Police.
This remains an open investigation, police say, and detectives urge anyone who may have knowledge regarding additional suspects or any information related to this homicide to contact the Major Crimes Division at (240) 773-5070. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County also offers a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s). Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).