GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — It’s been over three years since an El Salvadorian native has vanished in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Detectives have been searching for leads, but no one has come forward. Montgomery County detectives have been puzzled ever since Ronal Giovani Vasquez-Flores was reported missing by a friend on July 16th, 2016.
“He was in the company of some friends, and after that last known contact, no one has heard from him since,” said MCPD Homicide Detective, Beverley Then.
A missing person alert went out with a description of the 23-year-old; a Hispanic male, approximately 5’6” tall and weighs 130 pounds. Vasquez-Flores lived in a neighborhood in the 100 block of Coral Reef Terrace in Gaithersburg.
MCPD Detective Then was recently put on this case. “We’re now trying to understand who his friends are, where he was when he was last seen,” reported Then. The Federal Bureau of Investigations is working with local residents as they believe foul play is involved in his disappearance.
Police say he was associated with members of the gang MS-13. However, it hasn’t been determined if he was an actual member. Law enforcement believes that no one wants to come forward due to the fear of retaliation.
Police believe the assault was gang-related. “We do believe that his disappearance may be connected to that assault,” Then stated.
Police continue to search for Vasquez-Flores. They say he could be anywhere. They are looking at any trace or leads they can come across.
Community members are left questioning if he could be dead or alive, who could be responsible and why did this even happen? “We’ve been trying to get information through members of the Hispanic community, but also we have gone far to try to reach the family in El Salvador because he doesn’t have many family members here in the United States,” MCPD Hispanic Liaison, Blanca Kling stated.
Vasquez-Flores is an El Salvadorian native and didn’t have many family members in the area, but detectives were able to contact his family. “Help us to understand what happened to him, and give us any information that could lead to the closure of this case. His family very much wants to know what happened, and they miss him very much,” Detective Then stated.
The FBI is offering up to $5,000 for any information about Vasquez-Flores’ disappearance.
FBI number is 410-265-8080, and the Montgomery County Police Department’s number is 240-773-5070.