The violent MS-13 gang has been linked to a wave of recent killings in New York's Long Island suburbs. That's why police believe that human remains found in one location could lead to more grisly discoveries.
Police in Nassau County on Long Island say they have found several spots in a 27-acre park in the hamlet of Roosevelt that may be gravesites for the gang's victims.
“The process is slow due to the terrain and growth,” Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick of the Nassau County Police Department Homicide Squad told reporters.
Fitzpatrick said one set of male human remains has been found, but has not been identified. He would not reveal how long the remains have been in the area.
“There are a couple other spots that we have interest in and we will look at them slowly but surely,” he said, noting that one detective broke his ankle while searching.
Fitzpatrick added that police dogs have had “positive” responses to areas they were interested in.
Police said they received a tip about the remains from the Department of Homeland Security.
Members of the MS-13 gang, which originates from El Salvador, have been charged in recent killings in Long Island immigrant communities.
More than 20 killings in Long Island have been blamed on the gang since the start of last year.
As of last September, police estimated that there are around 400 MS-13 gang members operating in Suffolk County and more than 320 of them were arrested with the help of immigration agents, the New York Times reported.
The county has taken in 4,728 minors who came by themselves from Central America since October 2013 to June 2017, the newspaper also reported, citing federal data.