- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2005

Prince George’s County police say they have no suspects or motive in the stabbing of three Hispanic men in a shopping center parking lot in Langley Park.

Cpl. Debbi Carlson, a police spokeswoman, said yesterday that police are looking for witnesses with information about the attack that killed two persons and wounded one. Police said they planned to interview the survivor when he recovers from injuries.

Cesar Mayorga, 34, of Guatemala, and Anibal Escobar Cruz, 28, of Honduras, were found fatally stabbed early Wednesday in the Toys R Us parking lot near the intersection of University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue in Langley Park.

The men, who were found among the shrubbery in the parking lot, had been stabbed multiple times in the upper body.

A third man was hospitalized and was in serious condition yesterday. Police have not identified him because he is considered a witness.

Mr. Mayorga was in the U.S. illegally and had a wife and three children in Guatemala to whom he regularly sent money, relatives said. The immigration status of Mr. Cruz and the other victim could not be determined yesterday.

Police found the bodies at 6:50 a.m., about 50 feet from a county police substation and near the spot where day laborers gather to seek work. The police substation was not open at the time of the stabbings.

Police said there was no evidence that the stabbings were related to gangs. But the presence of gangs has contributed to an atmosphere of violence in Langley Park.

Authorities yesterday painted over a sign about 100 feet from the crime scene where someone had written “MS13,” which stands for Mara Salvatrucha. MS-13 is one of the most violent and largest street gangs in the area.

Meanwhile, a local nonprofit group is trying to raise $20,000 to embalm, transport and bury two of the victims in their native countries and to help pay the hospital bills of the third victim.

W. Gregory Wims, founder and president of the Victims’ Rights Foundation, a Gaithersburg-based nonprofit group, said he became involved with the family members after a volunteer who lives in Langley Park told him about the stabbings.

Mr. Wims said he met yesterday with Mr. Mayorga’s stepson, brother and cousin, who live in the area. He said Mr. Mayorga’s brother, Rigoberto Mayorga, told him through an interpreter that his mother and father in Guatemala were “devastated.”

Mr. Wims and Rigoberto Mayorga spoke to reporters during a press conference yesterday.

“I am crying for your help,” Rigoberto Mayorga, 19, said through a translator. “I am screaming for your help.”

Relatives told the Associated Press that Cesar Mayorga left behind two sons and a daughter, about ages 8 to 14.

“All of us, we came to this country looking for a dream, hoping to have a job and help our family,” Rigoberto Mayorga said.

“We didn’t come here thinking anything like this would happen.”

Mr. Wims said a member of his organization had spoken with Mr. Cruz’s cousin and uncle and that he hoped to speak with them personally today.

Mr. Wims said he expected the men’s bodies to be released to a funeral home late yesterday and that he has pledged to pay for the costs of burying each man in his native country.

Mr. Wims estimated it would require about $15,000 to cover the expenses. The additional $5,000 would be used to help the survivor pay for his hospital bills, he said.

“We’re going to make sure we get them home, get them a proper burial,” he said. “That’s the bottom line. We’ve made a commitment.”

Donations can be made through the organization’s Web site, at www.victimsrightsfoundation.org.

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