A local man is in jail without bail after authorities charged him with killing a married co-worker.
Prosecutors Saturday charged Elmer Marilan Campos-Martinez, 47, of Rockville with second degree murder. He apparently had an ongoing affair Dania Suyapa Mendez de Guerra, 21, of Wheaton. Campos-Martinez worked with de Guerra at the KFC restaurant on University Boulevard in Wheaton.
On Monday, a Rockville District Court judge denied bail to Campos-Martinez after learning a final removal order has been issued against him by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.
"The defendant presents a clear danger to the community and is a flight risk," Judge Margaret Schweitzer said in Rockville District Court Monday. "He has nothing to lose. It is appropriate for him to be held without bail."
The body of de Guerra was found at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10 behind a retail shopping center at 2321 University Boulevard, just a block away from the restaurant and several blocks away from her residence.
According to a Montgomery County Police report, her body was found behind a dumpster, partially obscured by trash.
"The victim appeared to have suffered trauma to her head and face, there were defensive wounds to her hands," police charging documents stated.
The Chief Medical Examiner’s office ruled de Guerra's death a homicide, stating "multiple blunt force traumas and asphyxia" as the cause of death, police said.
In a statement to Montgomery County Police, Campos-Martinez confessed to being involved in a romantic relationship with de Guerra, and that on the night of Sunday, Nov. 5 – the day before she was reported missing by her husband – the two worked an evening shift together at the restaurant.
Campos-Martinez told police he waited for de Guerra to finish her shift, and at approximately 12:30 a.m., she left the KFC and the two met outside where they argued.
Campos-Martinez said de Guerra was upset with him and told him she wanted to end the relationship, resulting in an argument. He admitted to police that he struck de Guerra after the two of them stopped arguing.
"Campos-Martinez told investigators he punched the victim three times and pushed her to the ground where she hit her head," police said. "Campos-Martinez stated that the victim appeared unresponsive. He took her purse and cell phone and fled the area in a taxi. He discarded her property in a dumpster."
Campos-Martinez appeared in court on Monday via closed-circuit television link from the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. He listened in Spanish as a courtroom interpreter translated the judge’s orders that he not be released from jail.
Campos-Martinez will next appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 1, when prosecutors will have to convince a judge that they have enough evidence against him to justify a trial. The hearing will take place in room 513 of the Montgomery County District Court on East Jefferson Street in Rockville at 10:00 am.
A spokesman from the Montgomery County State's Attorney said it is possible other charges will be filed against Campos-Martinez.