An alleged member of the notorious MS-13 gang has been arrested over the death of a man who was stabbed more than 100 times and decapitated.
Police believe that Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego, 19, was among a group of around 10 other members of the gang who brutally murdered the unidentified man on 5 September in North Carolina.
A police report states how the victim was found buried in a First United Methodist Church sweatshirt with a rosary, and his "heart had been excised from his chest and thrown into the grave" the Washington Post reported.
Police said that Lopez-Abrego, who appeared in Montgomery County Court on Wednesday (22 November) had used a 15-inch knife and was the first attacker although no motive has been given.
Lopez-Abrego, who denies involvement in the murder, was picked up by police after they stopped a vehicle he was in in late September.
Officials from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement: "Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego, a citizen and national of El Salvador, is illegally in the US and currently in immigration proceedings.
"On 4 November ICE lodged a detainer on Mr Lopez-Abrego with the Avery County Sheriff's Department in North Carolina after his arrest by local authorities."