BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The remains of a fifth teenager have been discovered in a Long Island community plagued by gang-related violence.
Police are investigating the death of 18-year-old Jose Pena-Hernandez, whose body was found Monday in a wooded area near the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Brentwood, as a homicide.
Pena-Hernandez was a known MS-13 gang member who was reported missing in June, police said.
The discovery was made days after another man, 34-year-old Dewann Stacks, was found beaten to death in what police believe was a gang-related incident.
It also comes weeks after four Brentwood High School students were found dead. All are suspected victims of gang violence.
On Sept. 13, the day before her 16th birthday, Nisa Mickens’ brutally beaten body was found on a tree-lined street in Brentwood. A day later, the beaten body of her lifelong friend, 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas, was discovered in the wooded backyard of a nearby home. The teenagers had been inseparable and shared an interest in basketball.
Days later, police discovered the skeletal remains of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta and 15-year-old Miguel Garcia-Moran in a remote industrial area of the town. Acosta had been missing since May, and Garcia-Moran vanished in February.
One Brentwood mother told 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr she worries about her children and what colors they should or shouldn’t wear.
“We are worried all the time, we worry for the kids,” she said.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said Pena-Hernandez’s remains were found thanks to a gang crackdown that has led to 30 arrests since last month.
“They’re not going to stop until we get to the bottom of these crimes,” he said.
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