FAIRFAX COUNTY, Virginia—Hannah Choi was last seen in the Kingstowne area on March 5 and she was reported missing the next day. The alleged killer, Hannah’s ex-boyfriend, is now “Fairfax County’s Most Wanted.”
27-year-old Joel Mosso Merino is wanted for second-degree murder and disposal of a body. He stands 5’7” tall and weighs around 230 pounds. He may be using a different name and authorities received a tip he was in the Atlanta area, reports NBC4 Washington.
Choi was reported missing after she failed to arrive at appointments and friends began to worry.
“What initially started as a missing persons investigation a little more than a week ago turned into a homicide investigation,” Fairfax County Police Department’s Bureau Chief for Major Crimes Ed O’Carroll stated.
Choi and Merino were seen in the community the night of March 5 and “may have had an argument,” O’Carroll said. “Detectives do believe at some point, something happened,” according toNBC4.
Merino is believed to have taken Choi somewhere, O’Carroll cites “mounting and compelling evidence,” the ex-boyfriend spent time in Piscataway Park.
Authorities searched the park and found a car they believe was driven by Merino in D.C. Choi’s home was also searched where authorities noticed missing bedsheets.
Missing Endangered: 35yo Hannah Choi was last seen yesterday 7am in the 5300 blk of Jesmond St, Alexandria. She is 5’4, 125, blk eyes, bro hair. She has a tattoo of Chinese symbol on ankle. Unknown clothing. Endangered due to mental &/or physical health concerns. Call 911 w/info. pic.twitter.com/fDkpk1ekLx
Merino has no criminal history, which is all the rarer to charge a suspect with murder without having recovered a body. However, police say the evidence is overwhelming. The search for Choi’s body is ongoing.
Choi was a “bright, caring, amazing young woman with the world at her reach,” O’Carroll said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the authorities at 1-866-411-TIPS.