Four young men were found dead of brutal violence in a park in Long Island, New York.
Gang violence has been a problem in Central Islip, Brentwood and other Long Island communities for more than a decade, and eight arrests last month in deaths of Mickins and Kayla Cuevas were the culmination of a long-term sweep by federal officials and Suffolk police targeting gang members.
Justin Meyers, assistant to the Suffolk County police commissioner, said Thursday that the killings all appeared to be "recent homicides".
The motive for the murders is unknown at this time.
Prosecutors said Kayla Cuevas, 16, was targeted last summer by a group of four gang members, including two juveniles, because she had been feuding with MS-13 members at school and on social media. "And make no mistake about it, it's a war".
"They'll kill anybody", said Isaiah Vogelfang, whose own brother, Michael Johnson, was allegedly killed by MS-13 members past year.
Police said the killings look like the work of MS-13.
Frany Novoa said her 21-year-old son William is also missing although police say the four victims were aged between 16 and 20. His cousin, who didn't want to be identified, said Llidicura told him Wednesday he was going to the park.
Sini said Thursday that investigators would continue with strategies, including concentrating on intelligence, that have been working to tamp down gang activity in an "all-hands-on-deck" assault.
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.
The bodies were found in a park bordered by Clayton Street and Lowell Avenue, ten minutes drive from the center of Brentwood.
Hours later, Llivicur's family told PIX11 police had informed them the teen was among the dead. The girls were attacked with a machete and baseball bats as they walked through the neighbouring town of Brentwood in September.
About a dozen distraught people, including family and friends of the teens, say they have not been heard from since. "We've made hundreds of arrests", Sini said. Pena-Hernandez was reportedly murdered for violating the gang's protocol.
Sini said the the department, in partnership with Suffolk County Crime Stoppers, is posting a $25,000 "fast cash reward" for any information that leads to the arrest of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the murders.