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Long IslandCrime

Police: Man found slain in Massapequa preserve identified

On March 25, 2017, Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, commander of Nassau County police's homicide squad, announced that the death of an unidentified young Hispanic man discovered in the Massapequa preserve on Thursday afternoon has been ruled a homicide. Fitzpatrick said the victim had several lacerations and blunt-force trauma to his upper body and head. Detectives ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477, where the caller will remain anonymous, or the Nassau County Police Department Homicide Squad at 516-573-7788.  (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

The man found slain two weeks ago in the Massapequa preserve was identified Wednesday by Nassau County police as a Valley Stream man.

The body of Julio Cesar Gonzales-Espantzay, 19, was found just before 2:10 p.m. on March 23 in the preserve, near Seaview and Ocean avenues, police said.

Homicide detectives subsequently solicited the public’s help in identifying him.

A man walking his dog discovered Gonzales-Espantzay in a heavily wooded area of the park. The dog was walking off-leash and led the man to the scene, police said.

The victim had several lacerations and blunt force trauma to his upper body and head — perhaps “from a large cutting instrument,” police said.

Police believe the body may have been there as long as three weeks.

The 432-acre park, officially named the Peter J. Schmitt Massapequa Preserve, straddles Sunrise Highway and contains bike and hiking trails.


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