A weeks-long search for a young Woodbridge father missing since Dec. 21 took a sad turn Thursday evening when Prince William County police announced that his remains were located in Maryland.
Jose Abelino Guerrero's death was the result of a Dec. 21, 2022, stabbing that occurred in Woodbridge amid a narcotics transaction with two Woodbridge residents who have since been charged with murder in connection with his death, police said Thursday, Jan. 19.
A body found in Prince George's County, Maryland on Thursday, Jan. 19 has been identified as that of Guerrero, 20, of Woodbridge, according to 1st Sgt. Jonathan Perok, a Prince William County Police Department spokesman.
Guerrero was stabbed multiple times and presumably died from his injuries, Perok said in a news Jan. 19 news release.
Olvin Daniel Argueta Ramirez, 19, of 14106 Matthews Drive, and a 17-year-old juvenile, whose name and address were not released, have been charged with murder. Ramirez also faces charges of stabbing in the commission of a felony, while the 17-year-old has been charged with robbery, the release said.
Ramirez was being held without bond at the Prince William-Manassas Adult Detention Center on Thursday, Jan. 19, while the 17-year-old was being held at the juvenile detention center, the release said.
Prince William County police began unraveling the mystery behind Guerrero’s disappearance shortly after his vehicle was found parked in the area of Bel Air and Jeffries roads in Woodbridge on Dec. 23, 2022, two days after he went missing from his Woodbridge home.
Police found evidence of a struggle and blood inside the vehicle, Perok said in the release.
At that time, Guerrero’s disappearance was upgraded to "endangered,” and Prince William County police issued a missing and endangered notice asking for the public’s help in trying to locate him, the release said.
Over the course of the following weeks, multiple searches were conducted, and leads were developed. Detectives identified two “persons of interest” in connection to Guerrero’s disappearance, and a search warrant was obtained and executed at a home in the 14100 block of Matthews Drive in Woodbridge, where Ramirez and the 17-year-old suspect were found and arrested, the release said.
The investigation revealed that Guerrero and the two suspects arranged to conduct a narcotics transaction on Dec. 21, 2022. During the transaction, an altercation occurred, and Guerrero was stabbed multiple times. The suspects then drove to Prince George’s County, where Guerrero’s body was discarded, the release said.
Police worked with Maryland authorities to locate and recover the body on Thursday, Jan. 19. The release did not say exactly where the body was found.
Guerrero's remains have since been transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Maryland for an autopsy, Perok said.
Guerrero had a 10-month-old baby daughter. His family and friends conducted their own searches for Guerrero in the days after he disappeared. Relatives also held candlelight vigils on Dec. 31 and Jan. 11 to pray for his safe return.