A teenager described by police as an MS–13 gang member was arrested in Spotsylvania County on Sunday after being accused of abducting a 17-year-old girl in North Carolina and bringing her to the Fredericksburg area.
Kevin Avilio Hernandez–Funes, 18, is charged in Spotsylvania with abduction, assault and battery and giving false identification to a law enforcement officer. He was also served with a warrant from Fredericksburg charging him with grand larceny of an auto stemming from a November 2017 incident when he was a juvenile, court records show.
Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Capt. Liz Scott said deputies went to a home in the Oak Grove subdivision Sunday after being contacted by the Asheville, N.C., Police Department.
A 17-year-old girl from that city reported being held against her will at a home in Spotsylvania. It was not clear Tuesday how long she had been there, but at some point Sunday she managed to slip into a bathroom with a cellphone and send a message to a friend, Scott said.
That friend contacted a detective in Asheville, who relayed the information to Spotsylvania authorities. Spotsylvania deputies found the girl at the home and took Hernandez–Funes into custody.
According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Spotsylvania Circuit Court, the girl told a Spanish-speaking deputy that Hernandez–Funes is an MS–13 gang member who had threatened to harm her and her family if she told anyone about the abduction. The girl had bruises on her body, court records said.
Spotsylvania Detective Earle Swift wrote in the affidavit that Hernandez–Funes admitted bringing the girl from North Carolina but denied abducting her. He also denied telling her he was a gang member, Swift wrote, and claimed he only mentioned the gang so that her family would leave them alone.
The search warrant gave police the authority to search two cellphones belonging to the girl. She told police there was evidence of Hernandez–Funes’ gang activity on at least one of the phones.
Hernandez–Funes lived in the Fredericksburg area at one point, court records show. He was reported missing by the Fredericksburg Police Department around the time of the car theft in late 2017.
Scott said Hernandez–Funes is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador and has been reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He is being held without bond in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.