The most compassionate human I know, Salina Rivera (also known as everyone’s favorite local DJ, Salamander), has been taken from us too soon. She was fatally shot several times in her apartment in Hyattsville, Maryland on 03/12/2019. As this is a new wound for our family, details of the situation are still being brought to light. One thing is clear, my only sibling and backbone of my family, Salina Ashley Rivera, is gone.
The investigation is ongoing and I will update as I can. If you have any information on her murderer(s), please do not hesitate to call the Prince George County PD Investigations Unit in Maryland ASAP. They are actively looking for leads.
I can’t believe I’m writing this. It’s unreal. I spoke to my sister before this incident (we live 4 hours apart but have always kept contact). Salina called me at 4:35 pm to tell me that she was proud of the positive changes that I had been making in my life. We spoke for 3-4 minutes. Sal told me that I need to continue on my path to figuring out what sparks joy in my life and that she was proud of how far I’ve come. That phone call ended abruptly mid-sentence but from what I understood, Sal was about to go outside. I didn’t get to say goodbye or that I loved her. Thinking that the signal dropped, I called Sal back immediately at 4:39 pm. No answer. Knowing my sister, I thought to myself that her phone must have lost battery mid-call or that she was busy and would call me back later on (in typical Salamander fashion). At 4:40 pm, I left her a single text message: “We got disconnected.”
I was putting my daughter to sleep when a phone call came from a family friend who lives in the DMV area. My sister had been shot multiple times in the head and upper body. Nobody had answers on if she was alive or not. I called her local police department hoping for an answer. Hoping that she was in a hospital somewhere and that I could pack a bag and fly to her side. The police department transferred me from detective to detective for what felt like an hour while they interrogated me for any information.
“Sir, is my sister dead or alive?”, I asked for the sixth time.
Salina is gone now. Her memory will live on and she is with our late father, Fermin Rivera, now. Salina will be buried next to her dad in St. Raymond’s Cemetery. My immediate family (which is now just my mom, Daisy) needs help making her funeral arrangements as this was extremely sudden and we only have 72 hours to work within.
For those who did not have the privilege of knowing my sister, she could light up any room. She was the most down-to-earth human being. She was generous and fair, a true Libra as she would say. We are completely devastated that (allegedly) someone so close to her would end up destroying her. Salina was the thread that held our family together and truly the best sister that I could ever have been blessed with. We need to honor her life. We hope to have her funeral service in NY where her loved ones reside and, potentially if funds allow, a celebration of life in Washington, DC where Salina spent the last years of her life making friends and growing her Salamander following. She loved being a DJ and creating music more than anything.
I will update with any information and a date for the funeral. Thank you for the support and love in this dark time of tremendous grief. Hurt doesn’t describe the pain we are feeling. I just lost my best friend. Salina is our everything. My dear Salina, I will continue to fight for your justice because I can’t sleep and I need you to be at peace.