The killings of four males whose bodies were found in a Central Islip park appear to be gang related, sources said Thursday.
Suffolk Assistant Police Commissioner Justin Meyers said the homicide victims “suffered significant trauma about their bodies” and were discovered in a wooded area in a section of the park near Lowell Avenue and Clayton Street.
The victims are in their late teens and early 20s and have yet to be identified, sources said.
Their bodies were not skeletal remains, Meyers said. “We believe the homicides were committed recently,” he said.
He would not say how the victims died or release any additional details. The bodies were believed to have been found Wednesday, a source said.
The crime scene is near the southeast corner of the Central Islip Recreation Center, where police blocked off several nearby streets and posted officers at intersections.
The gruesome discovery comes six weeks after more than a half-dozen members of the MS-13 street gang “whose primary mission is murder” were indicted in the brutal killings of two teenage girls and a fellow gang member in neighboring Brentwood — part of a wave of violence that has terrorized the community, officials said.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), whose district includes Central Islip, sent a tweet about the latest homicides Thursday.
“Tragic discovery of 4 more bodies in Central Islip,” King said. “These latest killings show need for full cooperation w Suffolk PD & fed law enforcement.”
Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez, a Democrat who represents the area where the bodies were found, said the deaths showed that “the disregard for human life is unfathomable.”
“The disregard for the pain, fear and suffering the families and community will experience is uncalled for,” she said in a message on Facebook. “Lives being lost, and for what? To what end?”
The September killings of Kayla Cuevas, 16, and Nisa Mickens, 15, led to the discovery of skeletal remains in a wooded area of Brentwood: three teenage boys who also were killed by MS-13 gang members, police said.
Federal prosecutors said that the MS-13 member, Jose Pena-Hernandez, 18, was killed because he was suspected of “violating the gang rules in several ways, including talking to law enforcement.” The skeletal remains of Pena-Hernandez were found on the grounds of the Pilgrim Psychiatric Cente, officials said.
The killings of Cuevas and Mickens, who were found beaten with bats and machetes, shocked the community and resulted in a monthslong sweep by Suffolk police aimed at wiping out the notorious street gang.
Four gang members — two from Central Islip and two from Brentwood — were charged specifically in the deaths of Cuevas and Mickens and have pleaded not guilty. They remain held without bail.
King has said he hopes to invite President Donald Trump to Brentwood to see the impact of gang violence there.