The park is still being searched by police and is an active scene at this time. NewsdayTV's Shari Einhorn reports. Credit: Photo Credit: Newsday Staff; Howie Schnapp; John Paraskevas

Suffolk County police have located human body parts that investigators believe belong to two unknown victims on the perimeter of a popular Babylon Village park, officials said Friday.

Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commanding officer of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Homicide Unit, said the remains appearing to belong to a woman — a head, legs and arm — were found late Thursday on the west side of the park, not far from where police had found two severed arms believed to belong to a man, earlier Thursday on the east side of the park.

“Last night we discovered a female head, a leg and what appears to be a female arm,” Beyrer said at the scene Friday. “The doctor from the medical examiner’s [office] came, examined it in the field last night, [and] an autopsy is undergoing right now. Preliminarily, it appears the arm, the head and the leg came from the same person, but that will be determined through scientific tests and through the autopsy.”

In a news release Friday night, police said they had also found a part of the woman's other leg.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Suffolk County police have located human body parts that investigators believe belong to two unknown victims on the perimeter of a popular Babylon Village park, police said Friday.
  • The remains appearing to belong to a woman — a head, legs and arm — were found late Thursday night on the west side of the park.
  • Police found two severed arms, believed to belong to a man, earlier Thursday on the east side of the park.

Beyrer said police were investigating all possible motives and potential suspects when asked whether investigators suspected that the street gang MS-13, known for using machetes to kill victims, was involved.

The notorious street gang has been relatively quiet on Long Island since federal authorities launched a massive crackdown following the 2016 killings of two teenage girls and the 2017 killings of four young men — slayings that authorities have alleged were committed by MS-13 gang members.

The remains discovered Thursday were found on the edges of Southards Pond Park, just south of Sunrise Highway, and abutting a residential neighborhood.

Beyrer said the remains of both the man and the woman did not appear to have been outside very long. 

“Based on the condition, preliminarily, it appears it is a matter of a small amount of days if not hours that they were out here,” said Beyrer. He said the man’s arms had tattoos and investigators are searching databases to see if the tattoos could be used to help identify him.

The woman’s remains had no tattoos, Beyrer said.

For much of Friday, a Suffolk police command post was set up, with yellow crime scene tape obstructing public access to the park.

Suffolk police were seen searching the park, along with the nearby North Babylon Cemetery, with the help of dogs. Police concluded the search Friday as nightfall approached. Investigators were also seen canvassing the area for home surveillance video. The news release Friday night said the search was complete.

“We believe that the persons who dumped the bodies here were mobile," Beyrer said. "We are pretty confident a car was involved, so we are going to search as thoroughly as possible with canines.”

A group of high school students walking to school at 8:41 a.m. Thursday discovered the first arm belonging to the male victim on the side of the road on Siegel Boulevard, between Mason and Park avenues, about 20 feet from the eastern edge of the park, Beyrer said.

One of the students called their father about the discovery, and the parent then notified police, Beyrer said.

Investigators returned to the scene where the first arm was found with a K-9 unit and discovered the second arm, Beyrer said.

A police dog later found  a woman's leg sticking out of a pile of leaves in a wooded area near Graham Place and Beverly Road, police said.

Students at nearby Babylon Elementary School and Babylon Memorial Grade School were  affected by the police investigation.

Schools Superintendent Carisa A. Manza said in a message to parents that students at those schools would have indoor recess Friday  because of “the ongoing police investigation” near Babylon Elementary School.

“We will also have mental health staff available for any student or staff member in need of support,” Manza said. “Additionally, our security team is working together to ensure the safety of students, staff and families.”

A previous version of this story misstated the number of male body parts found by the police.

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