Manassas City Police arrest 2 in gang-related homicide; 4 suspects remain on the loose

Manassas City Police investigate the murder of Cesar Benjamin Contreras on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. (Photo: Diane Cho/WJLA)

MANASSAS, Va. (WJLA) – Manassas City Police announced Wednesday that the murder of a 26-year-old man over the weekend was not random and may be gang related.

Officers responded to the Colonial Village Apartments on the 8900 block of Nicol Lane around 10:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of a dead body wrapped in carpet and left near a dumpster area. The deceased was identified as Cesar Benjamin Contreras, of Manassas. It was later determined the victim had been stabbed to death.

With the assistance of the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task force, Manassas City Police identified and arrested two suspects in connection with Contreras’ murder: 20-year-old Ludwig Ulises “Negro” Mena Romero, of Manassas, and 18-year-old Jose Rafael Ramirez Lopez, of Washington, D.C. Both have been charged with murder.

Police are still searching for four other suspects (see below) in the case: 24-year-old Juan Francisco “Blade” Guevara, of no fixed address; 25-year-old Mario “Joker” Portillo, of no fixed address; 22-year-old Argenes “Payaso” Sandoval, of Manassas; and a 17-year-old boy, whose last known address was in Randallstown, Md.

Anyone with information about these suspects or Contreras’ murder is asked to call the Investigative Services Division at 703-257-8092. There is a $1,000 cash reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

Manassas City Police search for suspects in Nicol Lane homicide