CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was a gruesome discovery in a Central Islip park this week, when the violently beaten bodies of four young men were found.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, police believe it was the latest attack by a notorious street gang that is suspected of murdering several teenagers in the area.
The bodies were discovered sometime on Wednesday inside Recreation Village Town Park. Investigators have not divulged the ages or identities of the four people, describing the victims only as all male. They ranged in age from 16 to 20.
“The victims suffered significant trauma throughout their bodies and police investigators believe that the homicides occurred recently,” Suffolk County Assistant Police Commissioner Justin Meyers said.
Police said the beatings are the work of the notorious street gang MS-13.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Suffolk County cops declared war on the gang believed to be responsible for a wave of unsolved murders and disappearances that has terrorized the community.
“This is a long term war, and make no mistake about it. It’s a war, and today is a sad day in Suffolk County particularly for the loved ones and family and friends of those who were murdered,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said.
But for two families, who have been looking for their two teenage sons missing for two days, their fears had been realized. They told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris that they were notified by police that the two boys, 16 and 18, were murdered.
“The manner in which they were killed was consistent with the M.O. of MS-13.” Sini said. “Extreme violence, utilizing sharp objects.”
William Tigre said his brother, 18-year-old Jorge, left home Tuesday at 3 p.m. The next day, William got a call from his brother’s friend.
“I seen your brother he was getting killed but I’m the only one who escaped,” he said.
Doris spoke to William before learning his brother was one of the victims.
“I got here almost at the same time the police got here. I arrived first and then the police arrived after a couple of seconds,” he said. “I’m really worried because my mom, she is the one suffering right now.”
The Llivicura family also rushed to the park, where 16-year-old Justin was with Jorge Tigre and two other friends that night. The family said Justin was also a victim of the crime.
“Probably was a target to the gangs, especially here in Central Islip,” his cousin, who did not want to be identified, said. “There’s a lot going around with that.”
William Tigre said his brother is not a gang member, but knows people who are, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.
Early Thursday morning, detectives emerged from the woods with what appeared to be an evidence bag, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.
In a statement, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said he was “outraged” to learn of the four homicides, saying “these heinous acts will not go unpunished and our communities will not be intimidated by such cowardly violence.”
“On behalf of all Suffolk County residents, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, friends, and loved ones during this difficult period,” he said.
Meanwhile, hoping to provide a sense of security in the community now troubled by the violence, the Guardian Angels have made their presence known.
“Our message is if you see something, let law enforcement know and the streets, the parks, it belongs to them,” said New York City Guardian Angels Patrol Director Benjamin Garcia. “It doesn’t belong to the gangs.”
Central Islip is just east of Brentwood, where two 16-year-old girls were found beaten to death in September. Subsequently, the bodies of three teen boys were found in the woods.
Investigators linked the murders to MS 13 gang members and arrested eight suspected gang members in March in connection with the brutal killings of Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas.
Suffolk County police have not commented on whether the quadruple homicide in Central Islip is gang related.
The investigation is ongoing.
Police have posted a $25,000 fast cash reward for tips that lead to an arrest.