Officials in Washington D.C. released footage of an interrogation of 18-year-old Venus Romero Iraheta. According to Fox 5 for the DC area, the video reveals Iraheta’s motives behind stabbing a 15-year-old girl repeatedly in January of 2017.
“I grabbed her by the throat and I couldn’t help but hit her,” she said in the interrogation. Iraheta was 17 years old at the time of the murder and later pled guilty to her participation in the brutal gang-related death. She told investigators that she stabbed Damaris Reyes Rivas 13 times to avenge the death of her boyfriend Christian Sosa Rivas, who was a known member of MS-13.
The case put another spotlight on MS-13, a gang that originated in L.A. and is mostly comprised of Central American members. Young, unaccompanied immigrants are especially vulnerable to being recruited by the gang.
In the video, Iraheta tells investigators what she said to Rivas before murdering her, with the help of nine others who have been arrested in connection to Rivas' death. “You're going to remember me until the day we see each other in hell. Don’t forget my name,” Iraheta said. “And I told her my full name and I told her my nickname. And I told it to her and I told her to never forget who I was."
Rivas was stabbed 19 times in total by Iraheta and others in Lake Accotink Park in Fairfax County. According to Fox 5, the group video recorded the murder with the purpose of sending it to gang leadership in El Salvador, the motivation behind the recording being promotions in rank within MS-13. Officials found the video in Apple’s Cloud, which helped them in their investigation.
18-year-old Iraheta is facing life in prison with an additional 20 years.