Another arrest made in connection to North Hill murder

Police working at North Hill
Police officers are seen during the search for Richard Hernandez Cruz in the North Hill woods in May. (FCPD image)

A 22-year-old man is facing abduction charges in connection to the May 2019 murder of 16-year-old Richard Hernandez Cruz in the North Hill woods off of Richmond Highway.

Police say Bryon Arenas Estupinian, a resident of the 22306 zip code, was arrested Thursday at his home. He’s being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Estupinian is the fifth person to face charges in the killing of Hernandez Cruz, who was found buried in the North Hill woods on May 23 after police had begun searching for him there the day before. North Hill, a 33-acre county-owned property that was once home to a large trailer park but is now just an overgrown wooded area, is located between the Cherry Hill Apartments and Dart Drive (see map) off of Route 1. Construction of a new housing development is expected to begin there later this year.

Two people — a juvenile girl and a 27-year-old man — have been charged with murder in the Hernandez Cruz case. Armando Dagoberto Reyes Reyes was arrested on July 2 after fleeing to Florida, while the juvenile girl was initially arrested in May on lesser charges but then charged with murder in December.

Police have said the murder is gang-related, and details reported by The Washington Post described a bizarre motive for the killing that allegedly involved accusations by Reyes Reyes that the Hernandez Cruz was using “black magic” to control a girl. More details from The Post’s reporting on the case can be read here.

The two other men charged in the case, 20-year-old Cesar Antonio Ochoa Carill and 20-year-old Doroteo E. Diaz Martinez, were arrested in May. Each was charged with unlawful disposal of a dead body.

Hernandez Cruz has not been named by police due to a state law that restricts law enforcement from releasing the names of juvenile crime victims without the permission of their parents. However after his murder The Washington Post published his name. Hernandez Cruz had been reported missing and endangered in early May by the police. He was last seen in the 4900 block of Beauregard Street.