Damaris Reyes Rivas (pictured left) was only 15 years-old when she was brutally murdered by a group of MS-13 gang members on January 8th 2017. Venus Romero Iraheta (pictured right) was one of the 10 gang members who participated in the attack. She was only 17 years-old at the time. Damaris lived in Gaithersburg, Maryland prior to her death, however she was killed in Springfield, Virginia.
Damaris’ murder is believed to be motivated by the December 2016 murder of 21 year-old Christian Sosa Rivas. Christian was Venus’ boyfriend, and he referred to himself as the leader of his MS-13 clique, known as the Harrison Clique. At some point before his death, Christian reportedly angered members of two other MS-13 cliques: the Coronados and the Via Satellites. It is believed that the leaders of those cliques were angry about Christian falsely claiming his title as a gang leader. On the day of Christian’s murder, Damaris allegedly texted him and asked him to meet her at a park in Dumfries, Virginia. Damaris herself was actually not at the park, though. Instead, a group of gang members from the other cliques met Christian there and proceeded to attack him.
On the day Damaris was murdered, she was asked to meet Venus and the others at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield. Damaris thought they were meeting to smoke marijuana, but when she showed up, she was ambushed by the group of gang members from Christian’s clique, all ranging from ages 15 to 21. A series of cell phone videos revealed that they tortured and interrogated Damaris for several minutes. One video shows Damaris being forced to stand naked in the 21-degree weather, while another video shows Damaris laying in a pile of leaves in her own blood.
Venus was the main assailant in the attack. She admitted to investigators that she said “see you in fucking hell” before she stabbed Damaris 13 times. Damaris was then left to die; she unfortunately succumbed to her injuries around 20 minutes later. Other MS-13 gang members went back to the park to retrieve her body, and they eventually dumped her in a puddle near an industrial park. Damaris’ body was found about a month later.
All of the 10 people involved in Damaris’ murder have been convicted. Venus was most recently sentenced; she received 40 years in prison. She offered an apology at her sentencing, stating, “I know I made the biggest mistake of my life. I am sorry.”