1 year later, family mourns victims of Central Islip quadruple homicide

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CENTRAL ISLIP -

Next week marks one year since suspected MS-13 members murdered four young men and left their bodies in a Central Islip park.

Carlos Lopez struggles when he talks about the death of his son. A year ago, 20-year-old Michael Lopez Banegas was one of four young men murdered in a community park in Central Islip.

The quadruple homicide was shocking, even to veteran members of law enforcement. This week, News 12 Long Island returned to the wooded area where police say members of the gang MS-13 surrounded the four men and cut them down with machetes.

MORE: Full coverage of gang terror on Long Island

A fifth teen, who had been hanging out in the park, says he managed to escape the killers. He then started calling the relatives of those who were murdered.

That’s is how William Tigre found out his brother Jorge was among the dead. Last year, he told News 12 that Jorge was an honor roll student who was trying to distance himself from MS-13 members he had once hung out with.

This week, Tigre's mother and sisters, spoke to News 12 at their home, asking not to show their faces because of fear of the gang. They talked of their pain the day they realized Jorge never came home. 

A makeshift memorial remains at the park, a year after the four murders. The bodies were found in a wooded area behind the fence, and the gate is now locked and the area under video surveillance.

Four suspected members of MS-13 are facing federal charges for the quadruple homicide and awaiting trial. Sources say several other juveniles have also been arrested for the murders, but their cases are sealed.

Suffolk Police say they've slowed the tide of MS-13 violence and that there haven't been any MS-13-related homicides since last April. That is compared to 17 murders in the 16 months before that. 

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