For the second time in as many weeks, police are investigating a pair of murders in the same Long Island suburb where two girls were beaten to death. Two sets of human remains were found in a wooded area near Brentwood, NY, and once again, authorities fear local gang members are to blame.
Once a suburban getaway from the hardships of inner-city life, the community is still reeling from the murders of teenagers Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas. Their bodies were found within a day of each other last week, brutally beaten to death. Investigators found the human remains of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta last Friday in the woods near a desolate industrial area. He had been missing since May. Another body was discovered nearby Wednesday but has yet to be identified.
Suffolk County police and the F.B.I. suspect local members of the infamous Mara Salvatrucha gang are behind the killings. More commonly known as MS-13, the gang’s roots lie in Los Angeles, where it was founded by Salvadoran immigrants in the 1980s. Since then it has spread throughout the Americas, as far south as Nicaragua, and well into the northeastern United States. MS-13 are active in the New York City suburbs of Long Island, which has seen a surge of gang violence over the past decade. Investigators have now widened their search to an abandoned state hospital where it is feared more bodies may be buried.