Two of the four men found brutally murdered and mutilated by MS-13 in Long Island park have been named.
George Tigre, 18, and Justin Llidicura, 16, are believed to be among the friends discovered in Central Islip Park on Wednesday morning. Authorities say all four victims were between 16 and 20 years old.
Police say the four were repeatedly stabbed all over their bodies in the gang-style killing.
‘We are not releasing the date or time they were killed, but these homicides occurred within the past few days. This is one incident,’ Commissioner Tim Sini, Suffolk County Police Department said. ‘He was beaten to death. Brutally. It wasn’t like they shot him and left it. They beat him to death brutally.’
Sini also said that police are investigating whether gang MS-13 were behind the murders.
‘There’s no question MS-13 still exists in Suffolk County,’ Sini said Thursday at a press conference. ‘This is a long-term war and make no mistake about it – it’s a war. It’s all hands on deck until we solve these murders.’
Family members of Tigre and Llivicura said that police had confirmed that their sons were dead. So far the other victims have not been confirmed.
George’s brother William Tigre, of Bellport, said he’d received a call shortly after the bodies were found from a friend who said he’s seen his brother get murdered, he told ABC News.
William, 21, told the New York Post that friend, Alex Ruiz, was ‘a member of MS-13.
‘He called me, the friend in MS-13, he called me last night at 6:30 and told me my brother is here,’ William said on Thursday.
He said that he had ‘escaped from the car’ and ‘saw my brother being killed.
‘He told me my brother was here. He gave me this address [to the park].’
William added that he had checked George’s computer and found messages from him that said, ‘I don’t want to do these things anymore. I want out.’
Justin Llidicura’s, 16, family said that detectives are investigating whether he is among the four victims, as a family member said he was last seen on Wednesday heading towards the park. He hasn’t been heard from since.
‘When his parents woke up, he wasn’t at home,’ the relative said. ‘So they called his phone multiple times. He never answered. It just went straight to voicemail. The phone was cut off. That’s when they got worried, because it was almost like a full day.’
Frany Novoa said her 21-year-old son William is also missing although police say the four victims were aged between 16 and 20.
‘They’re kids,’ she said. ‘I don’t know what they’re involved in, who they’re around.’
It comes six months after the discovery of the remains of five other teenagers in the area who police say were murdered by local high school gangs.
Authorities are yet to reveal whether the bodies discovered on Wednesday are linked to the previous youths’ deaths.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Justin Meyers spoke only to say the bodies found on Wednesday appeared to have suffered ‘significant trauma’.
‘We believe the homicides were committed recently,’ he told Newsday.
In September, the bodies of two teenage girls aged 15 and 16 were found mutilated by machetes in nearby Brentwood.
Nisa Mickens, 15, was found in the street a day before her best friend Kayla Cuevas, 16, whose body was discovered in the backyard of a home.
The pair had both been beaten with bats before they were hacked at with knives.
Nisa’s mother Elizabeth Alvarado described her loss as ‘the worst pain that any mother could feel.’
After discovering their corpses, police bolstered their investigations into gangs in the area. The investigation led them to the discovery of another three teenagers’ remains.
The skeletal remains of Oscar Acosta, 19, and Miguel Garcia-Moran, 15, who had been missing for months were found by train tracks while Jose Pena-Hernandez, an 18-year-old who was a well known gang member, was found in woods behind a disused psychiatric facility.
Authorities say he was killed in retaliation for breaking the protocol of a high school gang.
The other four killed were all students at Brentwood High School.
Police have not commented on whether the bodies found on Wednesday could be linked to the earlier murders or if the victims were teenagers or young adults.
Eight members of the gang MS-13 gang were arrested in March for the girls’ members.
But local families say they are still too scared to venture out at night because the gang problem has spiraled out of control in recent years.