Students and community members are scared to walk alone in their neighborhood of Brentwood Long Island after four students from Brentwood High School were found dead throughout different locations in their town. According to ABC News, these four deaths have been suspected to be related to gang violence.
Police have recently discovered the “skeletal remains” of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta and 15-year-old Miguel Garcia-Moran in an isolated industrial area of Brentwood. Acosta went missing earlier this summer in May and Garcia-Moran had “vanished” earlier this year in February.
Days before Acosta’s and Garcia-Moran’s bodies were found, 15-year-old Nisa Mickens’ brutally beaten body was discovered in the same neighborhood the day before her birthday (Sept. 13). The day of her birthday, lifelong friend Kayla Cuevas, 16, was found in a backyard of a home nearby.
Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, of Long Island were found deceased earlier this week in a possible gang-related attack. Police said Nisa (top photo) was found deceased on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. The medical examiner ruled Nisa’s death a homicide, saying the cause of death was assault. She had at least 10 injuries to her head and face and she may have been struck by a vehicle. Kayla, friend of Nisa, who police say was with her the night she was killed, was reported missing. On Wednesday, police announced that a body fitting the description of Kayla was discovered in a wooded area near where Nisa was found. Police have not revealed her cause of death. Nisa’s family said the teen was out with her best friend, Kayla. The two were last seen at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kayla’s house in Brentwood when Nisa’s father dropped his daughter off. He returned a few hours later to pick her up but the kids weren’t there. Nisa’s family says that Kayla’s cellphone was found next to Nisa’s body in the road. Nisa and Kayla were walking in the area when Nisa’s family say they believe gang members tried to kidnap Kayla. Investigators say Nisa appeared to try fighting off the kidnappers, but was killed, her body left alongside the road. Nisa was an 11th grader at Ross High School and was on the basketball team. She was wearing her basketball jersey Tuesday night. Yesterday, Nisa would have celebrated her 16th birthday. Our thoughts and sympathies are with both families as they try to cope with this unimaginable loss. Rest peacefully Nisa & Kayla. ? #nisamickens #ripnisa #kaylacuevas #ripkayla #justicefornisa #justiceforkayla #gonebutneverforgotten #restinpeace #gonebutnotforgotten #restinparadise #instamemorials #gangviolence #rip #stoptheviolence #longlivekayla #longlivenisa
Students in the area have all been affected by these deaths and have been instructed by their schools to take more precaution when heading to and from school. School officials told parents that children should refrain from wearing clothing that could possibly considered gang-related. This warning followed an incident where a driver approached a freshman of Brentwood High School with a group of people in his car. The driver demanded the student give him the shirt, before setting it ablaze. The student was then told not to wear the light blue color again.
Police authorities are linking these events to the Salvadoran gang MS-13. Since 2010 there have been at least 30 murders by the gang including the murder of a Long Island woman and her son. Prosecutors allege the mother had shown disrespect to the gang and in turn they murdered her and her son, who happened to be with her at the moment.
Community members have noticed an increase in gang activities in these past few months, and school officials are trying to stay proactive and provide the children with possible involvement, counseling.