Police: 2 gang members charged with murder of woman who was trafficked

Police: 2 gang members charged with murder of woman who was trafficked

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Police said they charged two gang members with the 2019 murder of a woman who was the victim of human trafficking.

Police were called just before 8 a.m. on Aug. 27, 2019, to Kingsland Glen Drive. At the scene, officers found a body that had been burned.

A man who lives near the area said he was taking a walk near a construction area and he and two workers saw something burned on the ground that appeared to be a body that had been set on fire.

A resident taking a monring walk reported a finding a burned body in Chesterfield.
A resident taking a monring walk reported a finding a burned body in Chesterfield. (Source: NBC12)

After an investigation, police identified the victim as Helana M. Swigert, 24. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that her death was a homicide.

“Chesterfield and Henrico detectives with assistance from Richmond City Police and the FBI learned that, Helana was the victim of human trafficking by known gang members who were using sex trafficking and racketeering activity as a way to earn money for the gang,” police said.

Shykeen Delaney, of New York City, and Phaheem Roy-Andrew Peterson, of Henrico, have been charged in the case.

Delaney, 31, is charged with first/second-degree murder, felony homicide, arson, abduction, distribution of narcotics, destroying a body, sex trafficking by force, taking a person to a bawdy place, conspiracy, racketeering, gang participation and gang recruitment. He was arrested on Sept. 4 and being held without bond at the Chesterfield County Jail.

Peterson, 27, is charged with first/second-degree murder, felony homicide, arson, abduction, distribution of narcotics, destroying a body, sex trafficking by force, taking a person to a bawdy place, conspiracy, racketeering, gang participation and gang recruitment. He was arrested on Sept. 3 and is being held at the Henrico County Jail without bond.

As police continue to investigate, anyone with information is asked to call police at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.

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