Report: Human remains found on Long Island; possible ties to MS-13 probed

Police respond to the scene in Roosevelt, Long Island where a body was found Oct. 18, 2017

CBS New York

ROOSEVELT, N.Y. -- Police in New York say they've found human remains after a tip led them to search a wooded area on Long Island.

Authorities began searching an area of Roosevelt for remains on Wednesday night after Homeland Security officials received a tip from a person of interest in a federal investigation, reports CBS New York.

 "The information we received from our partners in Homeland Security was that someone was talking about the area and the possibility that something might be here," Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Steven Fitzpatrick said at a Friday press conference.

The remains are as of yet unidentified and a medical examiner was set to determine how the person died.

"We don't know who this person is right now, so we don't know anything about his past or who he's associated with," Fitzpatrick said. "So this investigation is very early on."

Sources tell CBS New York the search is linked to a possible homicide by the MS-13 gang. There have been six MS-13 murder victims in Nassau County in the last two years and almost 20 victims in neighboring Suffolk County, the station reports.

It remains unclear if there's an MS-13 connection to this case.

Nassau County Homicide detectives, the Department of Homeland Security, the Homeland Security Investigations team, the Long Island Gang Task Force and New York State Police K-9 units are all reportedly involved in the search which is being conducted in an overgrown area spanning 27 acres.

Fitzpatrick said the search area was large and treacherous, and one detective broke an ankle combing through the area yesterday. Crews were conducting a grid search slowly and methodically. He said cadaver dogs have so far alerted on several other areas of interest within the search site, but no other remains have been found.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have both visited Long Island and pledged a crackdown on the notoriously violent  MS-13 gang.