FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The most recent discovery of human remains on Long Island is believed to be gang-related, officials say.
The remains were found Friday in a densely wooded preserve off Lakeview Avenue in Freeport.
Investigators said a hole in the fence surrounding the preserve is one way gang members accessed the area that’s desolate and private enough to kill a young enemy and hide the body, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
The discovery was made thanks to a joint effort between the FBI and the Nassau County Police Department after investigators got a tip from sources.
Officials offered few specific details during a press conference Saturday.
“We have no information to suggest that this incident was a random act,” FBI Special Agent Mike Osborn said. “We believe it is gang related and we will continue to pursue that.”
The home Bonita Torres shares with her husband and young children faces the wooded area.
“Really frightening,” she told Carlin. “Don’t go back there at all.'”
For her, the gang-related murders are hitting too close to home.
“They found one in Roosevelt, then Freeport in Cow Meadow Park, and now over here,” she said.
Earlier this week, unidentified remains were found in a park in nearby Freeport. A week before, authorities in Roosevelt discovered the remains of 16-year-old Angel Soler, a student at Freeport High School who had been missing for three months.
“They’re killing their own, meaning their own gang members,” Ryder said.
Investigators said when gangs zero in on a victim, they have ways to lure them into remote, wooded areas.
“They drag them in the back with the promise of either girls or drugs, and they get them in there, and then they savagely attack them,” Ryder said.
District Attorney Madeline Singas said on Saturday authorities expect to learn more about the most recent victim soon.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick J. Ryder said in conjunction with the discovery, authorities have made 58 arrests in the last two nights as a result of their increased effort to crack down on gang violence.
Of the 58 arrests, Ryder said 12 people are actual gang members — six of whom are believed to be members of the notorious MS-13 gang.
“Salvadorians with Pride, MS-13, Latin Kings, and we’ve been putting pressure on them,” he said.
Neighbor Jose Torres said he welcomes seeing the police in the neighborhood.
“It’s going crazy. These days these kids want to do what they want to do,” he said.
Also this past week, investigators returned to the Peter Schmitt Massapequa Preserve, where the body of a 19-year-old was found in March. In this latest search, no other remains were found.