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Missing Chesterfield teen found safe in DC as gang questions remain

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. -- Federal investigators and Chesterfield police want to know what a Chesterfield teen was doing in Washington, DC and how he got there.

Earlier Monday  night their focus was on finding the teen and they did just that.

Officers and federal agents had knocked on doors in several Chesterfield communities to ask neighbors questions.  "I had some gentleman come to the door with flyers to see if we'd seen our neighbor," said Theresa Bishop.

From her Chesterfield home on Lamplighter Drive, Maria Rivera, 16-year-old  David Viera-Alvarez's legal guardian and aunt, was distraught about the mysterious disappearance of her nephew.  A picture of an MS-13 gang member posted to his Facebook page touched on her worst fears.

"He went to church.  He never go and never come back,” said Rivera.  "I’m scared because of what's on the computer.”

ms13

Around 8:45 Monday night, Chesterfield police say they located the teen safe in Washington, DC, with help from the FBI.  Now investigators will focus on how and why he was there, and who posted the troubling pictures to his page.

"All of those images on his page were consistent with MS-13,” said Keith Applewhite, a former detective.  With 16 years of experience dealing with gangs, Applewhite knows a lot about who's representing which click on a web page.

ms13_1

"MS-13 are very quiet about stating their affiliations to the public and are never vocal about their activity around other people," he said.

Applewhite warns parents not to shrug off the signs and to know that gangs are here in central Virginia.  He has photos to prove that they once were here.

Applewhite says has no specific information about the Viera-Alvarez case but warns that MS-13 gang members don't take too kindly about people claiming to be a part of them.

"They call it false flagging and if you’re faking being an MS-13 gang member, MS is one gang known to retaliate," said Applewhite.