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Police Believe Body Found In Massapequa Preserve Is Victim Of MS-13

May 25, 2019 - 1:27 pm

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) – Authorities on Long Island say human remains have been discovered at Massapequa Preserve, and they believe it could be the work of MS-13.

Nassau County Police Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick says detectives have been investigating at the preserve for two years, digging through an acre of land and coming back about a dozen times before they were able to find the remains.

“Luckily on Friday, we found a location not far off a path that we’d been looking at before. We had many indications from dogs that the area was where the person might be. As we started to excavate, we found the remains of a human being,” Fitzpatrick said at a news conference Saturday morning.

The human remains were found Friday in the 432-acre preserve, about 100 feet away from where another victim was found two years ago.

Police say he or she is likely one of 11 people murdered by MS-13 gang members since 2016.

“We do believe we know who this person is,” Fitzpatrick said.

He said authorities are waiting for DNA to confirm the victim’s identity.

Authorities have been investigating at the preserve ever since 2017, when the body of 18-year-old Julio Espantzay-Gonzalez was found.

Police say Espantzay-Gonzalez was lured into the park before being hacked with machetes and shot to death.

“Once we started investigating that case, we started identifying multiple factions of MS-13,” Fitzpatrick said.

 Fitzpatrick says the case led them to three MS-13 gang members, who were eventually arrested.

“Information started being obtained in these investigations,” he said. “They led us to believe there was a second person here in the preserve.”