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Three Indicted for Kidnapping Conspiracy in Connection with Game Preserve Road Killing

A federal grand jury had indicted three men for a kidnapping conspiracy in which the defendants allegedly lured the victim from New Jersey to Maryland, in order to kill 22-year-old Jordy Mejia, whose remains were found in a shallow grave just off Game Preserve Road in Great Seneca Creek Park. The indictment was returned on Monday, March 20.

Indictment charges were brought against Neris Moreno-Martinez, also known as, Jose Neris Moreno, Jr., age 19, of West New York, NJ; Jose Israel Melendez-Rivera, age 19, of Montgomery Village; and Reynaldo Alexi Granados-Vasquez, age 21, of Gaithersburg.

According to the indictment, on October 1, 2016, Moreno created a social media account in the name of Shaila Smith. From that time until October 15, 2016, Moreno, and others acting at the direction of Moreno, posed as Shaila Smith and used the social media account to communicate with the victim. Pretending to be Shaila Smith, Moreno and his co-conspirators allegedly expressed a romantic interest in the victim and persuaded the victim to travel from New Jersey to Maryland to meet in person. Using the Shaila Smith social media account, Moreno and his co-conspirators instructed the victim when to travel to Maryland, what transportation service to use, and provided Melendez-Rivera’s address as the location where the victim should meet “Shaila Smith.”

In January, Montgomery County Police said that an investigation by detectives revealed that on October 15, 2016, the victim, Mejia, told his mother that he was traveling from their home in New Jersey to Maryland to meet a female that he had met on Facebook and would return the next day. On October 18, Mejia’s mother became concerned when the victim did not return home nor had he contacted her. She filed a missing person report with the local police department in New Jersey.