Two men have been charged in connection to the July 8 homicide of 24-year-old Jose I. Escobar Menendez in Sterling, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Gavin C. Collins, 21, of Sterling, and Joshua M. Hunter, 22, of Woodbridge, are both facing charges of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and two counts of using a firearm while in the commission of a felony.
In addition, Collins has been charged with possession of a Schedule I narcotic, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm while in possession of a Schedule I narcotic, an outstanding Capias (Loudoun County) and a probation violation (Prince William County).
Authorities said Escobar Menendez, of Winchester, agreed to meet Collins in the area of Emerald Point Terrace early July 8. After both Collins and Hunter showed up, a dispute reportedly ended with the victim being shot and killed after the suspects attempted to rob him.
Both Collins and Hunter then reportedly left the area in the victim’s car. Escobar Menendez’s body was located in the roadway along Emerald Point Terrace near Winding Road around 3:30 a.m.
Per the LCSO, the victim’s vehicle was later recovered in Prince William County and a third suspect, Handy N. Colindrez, 24, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with grand larceny — auto theft.
As of Wednesday afternoon, all three suspects were being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center. The investigation remains active, and additional charges are possible, authorities said.
A GoFundMe page established for Escobar Menendez’s funeral costs had raised more than $13,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.