Sources: Authorities acting on 'credible tip' in effort to unearth possible victim of MS-13

Posted: Updated:

Investigators returned to the Massapequa Preserve Saturday to continue the search for human remains after receiving information about a possible victim of MS-13 being buried there.

Sources told News 12 Long Island that they are acting on a credible tip in their effort to unearth a body.

The search started early Friday just south of the Sunrise Highway and north of the Massapequa Lake -- the same area where authorities found the body of Julio Espantzay-Gonzalez in March 2017.

Prosecutors say he was lured there in January 2017 by MS-13 gang members with the promise of sex and drugs. They say he was then hacked to death with machetes because MS-13 thought he was a member of a rival gang.

MORE: Credible tip brought authorities to possible MS-13 burial ground
MORE: 3 alleged MS-13 members charged with murder of teen in Massapequa

It is also the same area that investigators returned to last November to search for human remains, though nothing was found then.

Nassau police, detectives and a state police K-9 unit were on the scene Saturday morning, scouting a heavily wooded part of the preserve.

“I have two young children, 15 and 16, two daughters, and my husband and I are absolutely terrified that something could happen to our kids or any other children in this area or any areas nearby,” says Cathie Bellini, who lives across the street from the preserve.

Police have not indicated whether anything was found during Saturday's search or whether they will return on Sunday. 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."