- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 25, 2019

Authorities on Saturday blamed a Salvadoran gang for another body discovered in a shallow grave in Long Island, New York.

Officials said during a press conference that a body found Friday afternoon at the Massapequa Preserve in Nassau County was believed to be an MS-13 murder victim.

Police in Nassau County have found nearly a dozen bodies since 2016 belonging to suspected MS-13 victims, Commissioner Patrick J. Ryder said during the press conference.

“We believe it was a gang issue back in ‘16,” he told reporters. “This war, if you will, that took place in ‘16 and ‘17, we recovered close to 11 victims, all or most buried in shallow graves in Nassau County. We believe at this time we’ve recovered all the victims that have been part of our investigation.”

Authorities are waiting to receive the results of DNA testing prior to announcing the identity of the victim found Friday, said Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick of the Nassau County Police Department’s homicide squad.

The body was found by police following up on information gathered during the course of an investigation spurred by a similar discovery at the same preserve in January 2017, he said.

“Our investigation has identified people and persons that were involved in this, and we’ll work diligently with the district attorney’s office to charge them accordingly,” he told reporters.

The total number of homicides in Nassau County has dropped from 23 in 2017, to 15 in 2017 and 16 in 2018, said the police commissioner. MS-13 members are suspected of being responsible for 11 of those murders, or about one-in-five.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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