BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Suffolk County spent Thursday searching a former psychiatric facility in Brentwood.
Based on their search Thursday, it seemed as if police might believe the abandoned Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital could also be a gang burial ground, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports.
Four sets of human remains have been discovered in a wooded area near the facility in the past two weeks.
Abraham Chaparro told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall that the remains found Wednesday belonged to his stepson, 15-year-old Miguel Garcia who went missing in February.
Chaparro said the boy’s mother had to be hospitalized when she heard the news.
“She was so close with that kid,” he said. “He always called her ‘mom,’ every half hour he’d say, ‘mom how you doing? How’s everything?’”
Chapparro said he believes Garcia was killed during a gang initiation.
Police have not commented.
The remains of a 19-year-old Oscar Acosta, a Brentwood High School student missing since April, were found last Friday.
The district is still reeling from the deaths of two other students, teenage best friends Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, who were killed in alleged gang violence last week.
No arrests have been made, but Suffolk County Police say a violent MS13 gang member from Brentwood is in federal custody.
The recent discoveries have prompted a renewed push to crack down on gangs.
“We are going to do everything we can to decimate gangs in our county,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said Thursday. “The only people who should be fearful in Brentwood are those gang members.”
Police will be teaming up with federal officials to use organized crime statutes to put gang members behind bars.
“We’re going to utilize the RICO statute, no question about it,” Sini said. “It’s a very versatile tool and it carries enormous penalties, life imprisonment.”
Administrators at Brentwood High School also say security has been stepped up.