Update: Two Additional Suspects Charged with Prostitution Offenses Related to Ongoing Massage Parlor Investigation

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Vice and Intelligence Unit have arrested and charged Manni Chen, age 42, and Guihong Wei, age 51, with prostitution and human trafficking-related offenses.  Chen and Wei were both living in the Rockville massage parlor where they were working.

In December of 2017, the Montgomery County Police Department became aware of possible prostitution offenses and human trafficking occurring at four massage parlors located in Montgomery County.

On June 12, 2018, investigators charged three suspects with human trafficking and prostitution-related offenses in reference to the four massage parlors. Two of those massage parlors were located at 966 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.

On June 15, detectives were notified that one of the massage parlors on Hungerford Drive had re-opened and that prostitution-related activities were once again occurring at that location.

Detectives further learned through interviews that two females (later identified as Chen and Wei) were working and living in the massage parlor and would often provide sexual services to the male customers.

Yesterday (July 17), Chen and Wei were arrested at one of the Rockville massage parlors on the strength of Montgomery County arrest warrants.  Wei was charged with one count of engaging in prostitution and one count of occupying a building for prostitution.   Chen was charged with one count of occupying a building for prostitution.  Chen was released after posting a $7,000 bond.  Wei was released after posting a $3,000 bond.

This is an ongoing investigation and detectives believe that additional suspects may be charged as the investigation continues.

RLG

Manni Chen

Guihong Wei

DNA Evidence Left at Scene Used to Create Suspect Composite in Unsolved Rapes and Murder

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Cold Case Squad continue to investigate the following assaults, rapes, and murder involving three women.  Due to similarities in these crimes, investigators believe that the same suspect is involved.  Today, detectives are releasing a composite based on the suspect’s DNA evidence that was left at two of the scenes.

Three incidents reported to police are detailed below:

  • On June 25, 1989 at approximately 10:15 p.m., the 52-year-old victim was walking on Lewis Avenue in Rockville when the suspect approached her from behind, assaulted her, and then raped her. Suspect DNA evidence was recovered in this case.
  • On September 19, 1994 at approximately 10:20 p.m., the 25-year-old victim was walking on Twinbrook Parkway when the suspect approached her from behind while armed with a knife. The suspect grabbed the victim and dragged her to the side of her residence where he attempted to rape her.  The victim successfully resisted the assault, fled, and contacted police.  No DNA evidence was able to be collected in this event.
  • On October 3, 1994, Le Bich-Thuy, age 42, was located deceased to the side of her home in the 1600 block of Martha Terrace in Rockville. The investigation by detectives revealed that Le Bich-Thuy had been assaulted, raped, and then strangled.  Investigators further determined that Le Bich-Thuy was last known to be alive at approximately 10:00 p.m. on September 28, 1994 as she left the Twinbrook Metro Station in Rockville.  Suspect DNA evidence was recovered in this case.

A DNA analysis was conducted on the evidence collected in two of these events.  Based on that analysis, it was determined that the same suspect had committed the June 25, 1989 assault and rape of the first victim and had also committed the 1994 rape and murder of Le Bich-Thuy.

Detectives recently sought the services of Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon), a DNA technology company in Virginia that specializes in DNA phenotyping, or the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.  Using DNA evidence left by the suspect at these scenes, Parabon’s Shapshot DNA Phenotyping Service has produced what is referred to as a Snapshot composite depicting how the suspect in these cases may have looked.

How Parabon Created the Suspect Composite

Parabon’s Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service used the DNA evidence left by the suspect at the scenes to produce trait predictions for the suspect.  Individual predictions were made for the suspect’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape.  By combining these attributes of appearance, Snapshot composites were produced depicting what the suspect might look like at a certain age and with a certain body-mass index (BMI).  The default ages and default BMIs were used because age and BMI cannot be determined from DNA.

It is important to note that Snapshot composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance.  Environmental factors such as smoking, drinking, diet, and other non-environmental factors – e.g., facial hair, hairstyle, scars, etc. – cannot be predicted by DNA analysis and may cause further variation between the subject’s predicted and actual appearances.

Police Requesting the Public’s Assistance

Detectives are releasing the suspect composite with the belief that someone will recognize the suspect and provide information to investigators.   Anyone with information regarding the suspect or anyone who believes he/she may have details that might advance this investigation is urged to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect. Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

RLG

Map of the area where rape, attempted rape, and rape and murder occurred.

Parabon composite of suspect at 25 years of age.

Parabon composite of suspect at 45 years of age.

Detectives Investigate Sexual Assault in Silver Spring; Surveillance Photograph Released

Suspect who sexually assaulted a 16-year-old female once on a Ride On bus and then again in the 700 block of Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Special Victims Investigations Division continue to investigate the March 6 sex assault that began on a Ride On bus and continued after the victim had exited the bus in Silver Spring.  Today, investigators are releasing a surveillance photograph of the suspect and are asking for the public’s help in identifying him.

On March 7, the 16-year-old female victim reported to the MCP School Resource Officer assigned to Montgomery Blair High School that the previous afternoon she had been sexually assaulted by an unknown male after she had boarded a Ride On Bus and then sexually assaulted by him again after she exited the bus.

The investigation by detectives determined that on March 6, at approximately 3:35 p.m., the victim and the suspect boarded the Ride On bus in the 10100 block of Colesville Road in Silver Spring.  During the bus ride, the suspect sat next to the victim and sexually assaulted her.  The victim and the suspect exited the bus after a scheduled stop on Colesville Road near the intersection of Spring Street in Silver Spring.  After exiting the bus, the suspect followed the victim and then sexually assaulted her again in the 700 block of Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring.  The victim reported that the suspect stopped the assault and fled from the area when he heard someone approaching.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or who has information about this incident is asked to contact the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.  For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect. Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

RLG

After-School Program Employee Charged with Texting Students Inappropriate and Sexual Content

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department –  Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) have arrested and charged Christopher Steve Escobar, age 27, of Port Haven Drive in Germantown, for having inappropriate and sexual communication (texting) with two boys that began when the boys were in elementary school and continued through their middle school years.  At the time of these offenses, Escobar was employed with a company that administered an after-school program at the victims’ elementary school.

Investigation by detectives revealed that in approximately August of 2012, Escobar began inappropriately texting two approximately 9-year-old male elementary school students whom he came into contact with as an employee of the Bar-T after-school program at Kensington Parkwood Elementary School in Kensington.  The texting between Escobar and the two victims continued until 2017, when the two males were approximately 14 years old.  It should be noted that the two victims did not have knowledge of each other’s texting with Escobar.

On May 24, detectives arrested Escobar on the strength of a warrant, charging him with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor for the exploitation of these two victims.  Escobar was arrested at his residence and transported to the Central Processing Unit.  He is being held without bond.

Investigators believe there may be additional victims.  Detectives are requesting that parents talk to their children about possible interactions with Escobar and contact SVID detectives at 240-773-5400 if they believe their child was victimized.

 

RLI

Christopher Escobar

 

Arrest Made in 2010 Gaithersburg Rape

Detectives from the Major Crimes Division – Cold Case Unit have arrested Davon Gray, age 30, of Georgian Drive in Upper Marlboro, for the 2010 first-degree rape and armed robbery of an employee at the Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg.

On December 7, 2010, at approximately 11:08 a.m., officers responded to the Asbury Methodist Village located at 417 Russell Avenue for a rape that had just occurred.  The 18-year-old female employee had entered the women’s bathroom when the suspect followed her inside.  The suspect grabbed the victim around the neck and placed a handgun to her head while demanding her property.  The suspect stole the victim’s money and then raped her inside the bathroom.  The suspect’s DNA was recovered as evidence and entered into a national law enforcement DNA database (The Combined DNA Index System – CODIS).

On May 1, 2018, the Montgomery County Police Crime Laboratory was notified by the state of Virginia that Virginia law enforcement officers had submitted DNA of an arrestee into the national DNA database whose DNA matched the suspect’s DNA in the 2010 rape.  The DNA belonged to Davon Gray.

Subsequent investigation by Cold Case detectives revealed that Gray had been arrested by Montgomery County Police officers on December 7, 2010, at approximately 4:30 p.m. in the area of Middlebrook Road and Frederick Road in Germantown for possession of a handgun.

On May 10, Montgomery County police detectives arrested Gray at his home for the 2010 rape.  He was charged with first-degree rape, armed robbery, and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.  Gray is being held without bond.

 

Davon Gray