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Long IslandCrime

Another Hempstead man charged in Massapequa Preserve slaying, police say

Nassau County police and federal investigators at the

Nassau County police and federal investigators at the Massapequa Preserve on May 25. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Hempstead man was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with human remains found in the Massapequa Preserve this past spring, Nassau County police said.

Detectives searching the preserve May 24 found the remains of Bryan Steven Cho Lemus, 18, of Uniondale. Investigators had said they believed Lemus had been buried there in August 2016 after MS-13 gang members killed him.

Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of Christian Rodriguez, 22. Rodriguez is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead, officials said.

He is the fourth suspect from Hempstead charged with Lemus’ slaying.

Samuel Ponce, then 18, was arrested in September and charged with second-degree murder. Stanley Gerson Juarez, 22 at the time of his arrest in June, also was charged with second-degree murder. Raul Ponce, 21 when arrested in June, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Authorities have said Lemus died in a machete killing. Raul Ponce also is charged with the slaying of Julio Cesar Gonzales-Espantzay, 19, of Valley Stream. Gonzales-Espantzay was struck with a machete and shot.

Both homicides occurred in the 432-acre preserve, where the remains of the victims were discovered. The March 23, 2017 discovery of Gonzales-Espantzay, who had been killed two months earlier, led authorities to information Lemus also had been buried there, officials said.

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