The Search Continues To Find Hanna Choi's Killer As Her Family Raises Reward Money

Police in Virginia believe that 35-year-old Hannah Choi is dead and that her ex-boyfriend Joel Mosso Merino is behind her murder.

March 24, 2022
Hannah Choi (l) was last seen March 5, 2022 in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. Hannah is 5’4”, 125 lbs. She has brown eyes and black hair. Hannah has a tattoo of a Chinese symbol on her ankle. Joel Mosso Merino (r) is suspected in her murder. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Hannah Choi (l) was last seen March 5, 2022 in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. Hannah is 5’4”, 125 lbs. She has brown eyes and black hair. Hannah has a tattoo of a Chinese symbol on her ankle. Joel Mosso Merino (r) is suspected in her murder. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Photo by: Fairfax County Police Department via Facebook

Fairfax County Police Department via Facebook

Police in Virginia believe that 35-year-old Hannah Choi is dead and that her ex-boyfriend Joel Mosso Merino is behind her murder.

Choi was last seen on March 5 near the Alexandria, Virginia, home she shared with 27-year-old Merino. Her friends went to her home on March 6 after she missed several appointments, according to a release from the Fairfax County Police Department.

When they still couldn’t reach her, Choi’s friends called the police for a welfare check. Police found the Jesmond Street home to be in order other than a bedroom with missing bedding.

Investigators believe that Choi sustained a “significant injury” while with Merino and was then taken to another location.

On March 7, authorities recovered a vehicle in nearby Washington, DC, that they believe Merino was driving the night Choi disappeared. A search warrant executed on the vehicle reportedly offered enough evidence for Merino to be charged with second-degree murder and disposal of a body. Merino is still on the run.

Choi’s Body May Be In A Maryland Park

Police have yet to locate Choi’s body, but data obtained via search warrant allegedly placed Merino in Piscataway Park in St. George County, Maryland, the night Choi disappeared. That park is just across the Potomac River from Alexandria. Based on that data, authorities have spent several days searching the park for Choi’s remains, but have yet to find her.

Finding Merino

Merino and Choi began dating last summer, according to Choi’s sister. Merino and Choi had recently broken up, and Merino was set to move out of their townhome just a few days after Choi’s disappearance. Choi’s sister told WJLA that while she didn’t know Merino well, there was no indication that the relationship was violent.

Police have been unable to find Merino, though they believe he was in Atlanta right after Choi’s disappearance. The search for him is ongoing.

Choi’s family has organized a GoFundMe to raise reward money for information leading to Merino’s arrest and Choi’s body. The campaign has seeks to raise $50,000. The family said that any money that doesn’t go towards the reward will go towards legal fees, settling Choi’s estate, and to a domestic violence charity primarily serving Asian-American women and children.

“My family believes the quickest way to recover my sister's remains is to find her killer,” Choi’s sister wrote in a GoFundMe update.

Anyone who may have information about Hannah’s disappearance or knowledge of Joel Mosso Merino’s whereabouts should contact detectives at 703-246-7800, option 2. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477); by text by typing “FCCS” plus tip to 847411; and by web at this site.

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