Four young men were found murdered in Central Islip Recreation Village Park, located in a Long Island town that has been dealing with an increasing gang violence problem. According to an NBC affiliate in New York, the four victims were killed with a sharp-edged instrument, in a manner consistent with the modus operandi of the violent MS-13 gang.
The four victims have been tentatively identified, but their names are not being released yet. One was 16 years old, two were 18, and the fourth 20 years old. The killings happened sometime in the last few days, according to police, and all victims suffered "significant trauma" to their bodies.
"We're going to do everything in our powers to solve these murders. We have all hands on deck, and we're working closely with the FBI," police said in the report. There is also a $25,000 cash reward for information in the case.
The discovery of the four bodies comes just one month after the arrest of eight MS-13 gang members in connection with a September killings of two teenage girls in nearby Brentwood. In that incident, a 16-year-old girl had been feuding with MS-16 members at school and social media. She and her 15-year-old friend were attacked attacked with a machete and baseball bats, according to police.
Gang violence has been a problem in Central Islip, Brentwood and other Long Island communities for more than a decade, according to the report. The MS-13 gang, also called Mara Salvatrucha, was founded as a neighborhood street gang in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s by immigrants fleeing an El Salvadorian civil war. It's now a major international criminal enterprise, according to the report, with tens of thousands of members in several Central American countries as well as the United States.
[Photo:NBC New York]