For six years, Matias Molina washed dishes at Clyde’s of Chevy Chase, a laborious job for which he had developed a passion. The restaurant’s general manager said Molina sent money to his wife in El Salvador, and he had an adult son here in Washington to keep him company.
Molina’s body was found on Sept. 2, Labor Day, in Rock Creek Park, lying by a creek bed near a popular picnic spot and Beach Drive in Northwest Washington. D.C. police said Molina, 49, of Northwest, was stabbed elsewhere and dumped in the park on or before Sept. 2.
On Thursday, police announced that they were searching for two suspects in the slaying: Angel Dilmar Monge, 40, charged with second-degree murder while armed, and Jose Santos Cantarero, 36, charged with being an accessory after the fact. They had not been arrested as of Friday.
The general manager of Clyde’s of Chevy Chase, Brian Janney, said that Monge had worked at the Montgomery County restaurant for 13 years as a baker and that Molina and Monge knew each other socially.
Police said the stabbing occurred during an argument. Janney said he doesn’t know what the alleged dispute might have been about. He also said that Cantarero did not work at the restaurant and that Monge had not been seen since Molina’s body was found.
Janney said he thinks the victim’s son has taken Molina’s body back to El Salvador. W.H. Bacon Funeral Home, on 14th Street NW, confirmed that it had handled the remains but would not say more because the family had not authorized an obituary or a death notice.
Janney said Molina had befriended the executive chef, who was on vacation this week and could not be reached. The manager, who has worked at the Chevy Chase location for the past year, said he quickly learned to rely on Molina.
“He was kind of quiet,” Janney said. “He was always very respectful of me. He would make a point of making sure I was taken care of. If something needed to be done, he always jumped in. His job was not glorious. It was a lot of hard work for not a whole lot of money. He put a lot of dedication into it.”
D.C. police have not divulged many details of the investigation, and they would not describe the nature of the reputed argument between Molina and Monge.
Janney said Molina’s son visited the restaurant shortly after his father’s death but has not been in touch since. “We’ve tried to do everything we can to help,” he said. Janney said he has Molina’s final paycheck but can’t send it to Molina’s wife until she provides written permission as executor of the estate. Janney said he has been unable to contact the family.
“We want to make sure they’re taken care of,” he said. “We care very much about him. He was a great employee We know it’s a very difficult situation for his family.”