Murder Solved With Arrest of Three
Victim and accused worked in Salem County prostitution
Salem - The Salem County Superior Court was the site
of the arraignment for Miguel Angel Salcedo, arrested for
the January 17, 2005 murder of Virginia Lopez-Rojas, an illegal
immigrant from Mexico who was working as a prostitute in Salem
County. Two other subjects have already been arrested based
on information learned during the murder investigation. All
four subjects, including the victim, were a part of a prostitution
ring that delivered primarily Mexican female prostitutes to
clients in the Salem and Gloucester County areas.
An exhaustive search for the victim's identity led police
to the Mexican Consulate and eventually to her family who
confirmed that she was an illegal immigrant working as a prostitute.
As the investigation continued to gather momentum, on March
31, 2005, Margarito Jaime Luna, 22, and Rene Luna, 24, both
of the Sandy Ridge Apartments, Penns Grove Township were arrested
and charged with promoting prostitution.
A warrant was also prepared for Miguel Angel Salcedo, 22,
86 Amwellbury Road, Elsinboro Township, Salem County charging
him with promoting prostitution. After he was stopped for
speeding, Salcedo, was arrested as a wanted person yesterday
by an officer from the East Greenwich Township Police Department.
Detectives then interviewed Salcedo at Woodstown Barracks
and worked with the prosecutor's office to charge him last
night with murder.
An arrest warrant was prepared charging Salcedo with Criminal
Homicide, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, and Tampering with
Evidence. The warrant was reviewed by First Assistant Prosecutor
William Brennan, Salem County Prosecutor's Office, and authorized
by Judge Richard Hoffman, J.S.C. Judge Hoffman set Salcedo's
bail at $1,000,000.00 full cash. Salcedo was subsequently
lodged in the Salem County Correctional Facility in default
Salem County Prosector John T. Lenahan said, "I am very proud
of the effort of the members of the Troop A Criminal Investigation
Unit, the Salem County Prosecutor's Violent Crime Unit and
the members of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau
for their tenacious, unrelenting investigation. I would like
to specifically commend New Jersey State Police Detectives
including Sergeant David Elwell, Mike Peterson and Geoff Noble
as well as Lt. Anthony Rastelli and Sergeant Fred Parkell
of the Salem County Prosecutor's Office for their diligence.
"This case had all the earmarks of an unsolvable homicide-an
unidentified "Jane Doe" found on a back road in Salem County
on a cold January morning. The fact that the N.J.S.P. and
Salem County law enforcement officials, in less than 100 days,
could identify the decedent through contacts with the Mexican
consulate, arrest Margarito Luna and Rene Luna for their alleged
involvement in a prostitution ring, and ultimately arrest
the alleged assailant, Miguel Salcedo, speaks volumes about
the professional excellence of all involved," Lenahan stated.
Additional evidence was recovered last night during the execution
of a search warrant executed at Salcedo's home. A DNA sample
was also collected from Salcedo that will be compared to biological
evidence found at the crime scene. Additional search warrants
for Salcedo's vehicles are pending.
In addition to the State and County agencies cooperating
in this investigation, the following Federal authorities contributed
to this investigation:
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau of the Department
of Homeland Security SAC Kyle Hutchins, Newark Office
- Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General,
Special Agent John McGlynn
Miguel Angel Salcedo
Margarito Jaime Luna
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