Two men have been arrested and charged in the July 8 murder of Jose I. Escobar Menendez, a 24-year-old gay man from Winchester, Virginia. A third suspect has also been arrested.
Wrote the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office: “The suspects, Gavin C. Collins, 21, of Sterling and Joshua M. Hunter, 22, of Woodbridge are both charged with First Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, and two counts of Using a Firearm while in the Commission of a Felony (Robbery and Murder). Collins is also 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), and a Probation Violation (Prince William).”
“During the early morning hours of July 8, the victim agreed to meet Collins in the area of Emerald Point Terrace,” the sheriff’s office explained. ” Both Collins and Hunter showed up. During the course of their encounter a dispute occurred and the victim was shot and killed when Collins and Hunter attempted to rob him. Both Collins and Hunter then left the area, taking the victim’s car. The victim, Jose I. Escobar Menendez, was later located deceased in the roadway along Emerald Point Terrace near Winding Road around 3:30 a.m.”
The sheriff added: “During the course of the investigation, the victim’s vehicle was located in Prince William County and a third suspect, Handy N. Colindrez, 24, of no fixed address, was arrested as part of the investigation. Colindrez has been charged with Grand Larceny (Auto Theft). This remains an active investigation and additional charges are possible. All three suspects are being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.”
The Washington Blade reports that Hunter worked as a male escort and advertised his services on the website Rent.Men.
The Blade reports: “[A] former customer, who contacted the Washington Blade anonymously, provided a link to Hunter’s page on the Rent.Men website, which was still up and running as of Friday afternoon. Hunter used the name Anthony Adams on the site rather than his actual name of Joshua Hunter. … The Sheriff’s Office has also declined to confirm or deny an assertion by one of Menendez’s friends to a local Loudoun County newspaper that the murder was a hate crime that targeted Menendez because of his sexual orientation.”