Human remains were found at Southards Park in Babylon by students walking to school. NewsdayTV's Shari Einhorn reports. Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez; Paul Mazza

Two severed arms and a leg were discovered Thursday in three locations in the Village of Babylon, not far from a popular park and a school, law enforcement officials said.

The first arm was found on the side of the road on Siegel Boulevard, between Mason and Park avenues in Babylon, by a group of high school students walking to school at 8:41 a.m., said Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commanding officer of the Suffolk County Police Department's Homicide Unit. Beyrer said it was found about 20 feet from the eastern edge of the park.

A second arm was found later, close to where officials recovered the first one. Late Thursday, the police said in a news release that "the remains found on the eastern edge of the park appear to be male."

One of the students who found the arm by the side of the road called their father about the discovery and the parent notified police, Beyrer told reporters near the scene Thursday.

During a subsequent search by police Thursday afternoon, a canine unit located a leg sticking out of a pile of leaves in a wooded area on Graham Place, between Beverly Road and Martin Place, police said.

It was not immediately clear if the arms and leg belonged to the same person. Law enforcement had no information on the condition of the remains although Beyrer said the first arm had not been there long. 

Investigators returned to the scene where the first arm was found with a K-9 unit and discovered the second arm, the homicide chief said during a late evening news conference.

“So we have a right arm and a left arm,” Beyrer said. “The right arm was found about 20 feet further into the woods from the left arm, almost a direct line.”

He said the tattoos on the first arm and DNA will help identify the victim. Investigators are also checking missing persons reports. “It does appear to be recent,” he said about the remains. “And a missing persons report might come in tonight.”

Beyrer said the police would continue the search Friday morning.

At the scene Thursday, yellow police tape and a parked police vehicle blocked a portion of Beverly Road, near the intersection of Ralph Avenue. But the neighborhood where the discoveries were made was calm and quiet once school was dismissed on Thursday afternoon. 

Babylon resident Josephine Roche, who lives close to where the first arm was discovered, said she was shaken by the news.

“That it is terrible and very scary to hear something like that happen so close to home,” Roche said. “ … I think we are safe. There is a good police presence and I think that it wasn’t necessarily related to this area. I told my kids, 'Lock the doors, always, in any area.' ”

Neighbor Joe Ferrara said the discovery of the severed limbs left him “stunned.”

“I can’t even believe that,” Ferrara said. “You see that stuff in movies. When it happens this close to home it’s pretty wild to say the least.”

The Village of Babylon posted on social media Thursday morning that Southards Pond Park, just south of Sunrise Highway, had been closed due to a Suffolk police investigation.

Babylon Union Free School District Superintendent Carisa Manza sent a pair of notices to parents Thursday morning about the investigation.

“Please be advised that I was notified that the Suffolk County Police Department is conducting a crime scene investigation near Southards Pond, Park Ave and Siegal Blvd which is proxemic to the Babylon Memorial Grade School and Babylon Elementary School,” she wrote. “Out of an abundance of caution and not to interfere with the investigation, we will be holding indoor recess today.”

In a follow-up message to parents, Manza called the situation “extremely unsettling” and offered counseling to students who may need it.

“The safety and mental health of our students is our number one priority, and we know this incident may be causing some extreme anxiety among our students, particularly the high school students who were directly affected by this situation on their way to school this morning,” Manza wrote. “We applaud them for their diligence in reporting their disturbing discovery to our building administration and law enforcement.”

With Shari Einhorn

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