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Long IslandCrime

Cops: Human remains found in preserve identified as Uniondale man, 18

Investigators at the Massapequa Preserve on May 25

Investigators at the Massapequa Preserve on May 25 where the remains of an 18-year-old Uniondale man were found. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau police on Monday identified the human remains found May 24 in the wooded Massapequa preserve as Bryan Steven Cho Lemus, 18, of Uniondale.

Police earlier said they believed the man had been buried there more than two years ago by MS-13 gang members. The shallow grave where they found his badly decomposed body was not far from where the remains of an alleged victim of the gang was discovered in 2017.

Members of the gang killed about a dozen people in Nassau County in 2016 and 2017, police said, and investigators have searched the 432-acre preserve repeatedly looking for traces of the victims.

Lemus was found near where police found the remains of Julio Cesar Espantzay, 18, of Hempstead, in March 2017. Authorities have said Espantzay was lured into the park with promises of sex and drugs, then attacked with machetes and shot before being buried in the preserve that January.

Five reputed Long Island MS-13 gang members were charged with murder in Espantzay’s death, the Nassau district attorney's office said. Their cases remain open.

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