EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (AP) — Human remains found in a wooded area on Long Island on Wednesday were that of young man killed by the MS-13 street gang, according to Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
The remains were discovered in a shallow grave “deep in the bramble” just east of the Meadowbrook Parkway in East Meadow following tips to law enforcement, Ryder said at a news conference.
The victim is believed to be “in his late teenage years” and was killed in the location over a year ago, Ryder said. DNA testing will determine his identity.
“It is MS-13,” Ryder said. “We believe we have about five of these individuals involved already in custody.”
The MS-13 gang has been blamed for at least 25 killings since January 2016 across a wide swath of Long Island.
The violence, including the 2016 slayings of two teenage girls in Brentwood, led to congressional hearings and visits to Long Island from both Republican President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Earlier this month, an MS-13 member pleaded guilty to participating in the brutal massacre of four young men.
Josue Portillo, 17, admitted to planning the April 2017 killings with other MS-13 defendants because he said they believed the four were rival gang members, prosecutors said. The victims were lured to a park and attacked with machetes, knives and clubs.