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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

 
 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Public Information Office (609) 882-2000:
SFC Gerald Lewis   Ext. 6516
A/Sgt Stephen Jones    Ext. 6513

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 27, 2005


 
 
Immigrant's Murder Solved With Arrest of Three
Victim and accused worked in Salem County prostitution ring

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 of bail.

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
Rene Luna

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