Four young men were savagely murdered near a Long Island children’s playground, with violent local gangbangers suspected in the suburban slaughter, officials said.
The corpses were discovered Wednesday night at the Recreation Village Park in Central Islip, with three of the murdered youths still in their teens, said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini.
The butchered bodies were left behind for an undetermined amount of time by the fugitive killers.
The victims “all suffered from significant trauma throughout their body,” the commissioner said Thursday. “It appears they were killed with a sharper edged instrument.”
Without going into detail, Sini said the murder technique used was “consistent with the modus operandi of MS-13” — a violent gang already implicated in last year’s murders of two high school girls.
The two best friends were attacked with a machete and baseball bats as they walked through town last September.
“We are clearly looking into that possibility, although we have not ruled out any possibilities at this point,” said Sini.
The commissioner said his department was working with the FBI on the quadruple homicide, and promised to keep the heat on the local gang.
“This is a long-term war,” said Sini. “And make no mistake about it, it’s a war.”
The MS-13 street gang was founded in Los Angeles by immigrants seeking safe haven from a civil war in their native El Salvador during the 1980s.
Crime scene investigators were seen still working in the park early Thursday, and several blocks around the area were cordoned off.
It was not immediately known if the killings were connected to the gang-related homicides that took place in Brentwood — the town next to Central Islip — in the last few months.
On March 2, eight members of the violent MS-13 gang were arrested for the revenge killings of Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16.
The horrific killing of the unarmed girls was sparked by a gang dispute at Brentwood High School a week earlier, a 34-page federal indictment filed last month charged.
The investigation into the the girls’ killings led to the discovery of the skeletal remains of three teenage boys also believed to be killed by MS-13.
Another victim, former MS-13 member Jose Pena-Hernandez, 18, was found dead on the grounds of a psychiatric center in June. He was killed for violating gang protocol, officials said.
Five more MS-13 members were charged with racketeering, murder, attempted murder, assault, obstruction of justice, arson and other charges.