ROOSEVELT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nassau County police and federal investigators are searching for a body in a wooded area in what may be a gang-related killing.
Authorities said they are searching the area of West Greenwich Avenue and Wilbur Lane in Roosevelt for at least one body.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Investigations unit are both on the scene. The Long Island Gang Task Force and New York State Police K-9 unit are also on the scene.
Law enforcement officials are acting on a tip of a body or perhaps bodies being dumped in the area, which is in the northwest corner of Roosevelt just south of Southern State Parkway, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“It’s crazy, I heard the helicopter and that’s why I came outside. It’s total madness,” Roosevelt resident Eurita McClaine said. “I mean, why would they be looking for a body there unless somebody said something that would make them even think to come to this area.”
“This is very unusually strange, something that doesn’t occur in this neighborhood so I guess this is why we’re in shock because it’s usually quiet here,” resident Yvonne Foy said.
There is a large lake in the woods where residents say some people go fishing, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
Nassau County cops said they received the tip from Homeland Security and began searching on Wednesday night.
The search is being conducted in an overgrown area spanning 27 acres.
“This is going to be a long process, it’s probably going to take us a few days to get through the wooded area,” Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
Investigators could be on the scene for days, maybe longer, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
Ryder wouldn’t comment, but a Homeland Security source confirmed the search stemmed from a possible homicide committed by the MS-13 gang.
There have been six MS-13 murder victims in Nassau County in the last two years and almost 20 victims in neighboring Suffolk County.
It is unclear if there’s an MS-13 connection to this case.
President Donald Trump visited Long Island back on July 28 and promised a crackdown on the MS-13 gang.