Marvin Palencia arrested in murder of man whose body was found in box


The first update to this story indicated Palencia and Vazquez had an employee-supervisor relationship. They worked in the same building, but in different areas. Our apologies.

UPDATE 11:45 a.m. Nov. 21: Marvin Palencia was arrested by Metropolitan Police Department detectives Saturday on a warrant for first-degree murder in the death of Jacobo Vazquez, whose body was found in a box along I-70 in Frederick.

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Long story short

Hyattsville man arrested in murder of man whose body was found in box.


On November 20 at approximately 3:30 pm, members of the Homicide Branch and Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested 34-year-old Palencia without incident in Hyattsville.

UPDATE 7:37 p.m., Nov. 19: Investigators have recovered Marvin Palencia's minivan, ABC7's Sam Ford witnessed Friday.

The van was found outside of Palencia's Hyattsville residence.

Palencia is wanted in connection with the murder of Jacobo Vazquez, whose body was found Tuesday stuffed inside a cardboard box dumped along the side of Interstate 70 in Frederick.

Pedro Urioso, Vazquez's roommate, said Vazquez had been living in fear recently because one of his supervisors — the 34-year-old Palencia — had threatened to kill Vazquez over a romantic affair with Palencia's wife, who also worked in the building. Palencia was a building engineer and supervisor over cleaning crews.

He went to work Thursday night but never came home.

According to people who work in the building, On Friday police found a lot of blood in a laundry room in the underground parking garage at 101 Constitution Ave., where the men both worked.

Investigators believe Vazquez may have been shot to death in the room and his body stuffed inside a cardboard box, which was transported to the dump site in Palencia's minivan, according to sources.

Palencia's minivan was found outside the home where the he lives with his wife. There's still no word on Palencia's whereabouts.

Prince George's County police officers appeared to be staying in the apartment in shifts. It appeared someone was home at the apartment, but not the suspect.

Sources said Palencia had been interviewed Friday about the apparent homicide. He hasn't been seen since.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m., Nov. 18: Investigators have identified the body found in a cardboard box along Interstate 70 on Tuesday as D.C. man who was reported missing last week.

Jacobo Vazquez was reported missing by co-workers on Friday, Nov. 12. His body was found stuffed inside a cardboard box along the side of I-70 Tuesday morning by some highway workers. Vazquez worked in the cafeteria at 101 Constitution Ave. NW. Investigators believe he was fatally shot somewhere in his work building and his body was dumped in Frederick County, about 50 miles away.

Police have issued a felony arrest warrant for 34-year-old Marvin Palencia, a building engineer at 101 Constitution Ave. NW.

Sources say both men were involved with the same woman, who worked in the cafeteria. A police spokesperson would only say they believe the incident was domestic in nature.

Sources also say Palencia's ID was found in the cardboard box containing Vazquez's body. One theory, according to the sources, was that the box was not supposed to be found until the remains were skeletal, and the ID would lead investigators in the wrong direction.

Police want to locate Palencia's vehicle, a light green or gray 2007 Honda Odyssey minivan, with Maryland tags PALNCIA.

Police say Palencia should be considered armed and dangerous.

Description of image
A vehicle similar to Palencia's. (Photo: D.C. police)

Anyone with information about the suspect's whereabouts or this crime should take no action, but call the police at (202) 727-9099 or 1-888-919-CRIME (1-888-919-2746).

The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons wanted for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.


ORIGINAL POST, Nov. 16: Maryland State Police are investigating an apparent homicide after state workers found a body in a cardboard box along the side of Interstate 70 in Frederick.

Investigators only described the body as that of an adult. They suspect foul play, but an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.

Highway workers found the box about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. It was found off the shoulder of I-70, near mile marker 48, in a wooded area. It's unclear how long the body and the box had been there.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center at 301-600-4151.


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