On the day police identified 24-year-old Alexander Santos Argueta-Ventura as the victim of a fatal Brentwood stabbing, the Huntington Station man's family and friends spent Sunday together grieving - and trying to find a way to afford to send Argueta-Ventura's body back to his native El Salvador.
Argueta-Ventura's body was found on a Brentwood street Saturday morning, police said. He was assaulted by another man who fled with two women in a white two-door sedan, police said.
Argueta-Ventura lived with family members and friends on East 12th Street, said his brother, Carlos, who lived at the home.
Argueta-Ventura, who had a job at a restaurant in Deer Park, was a hard worker who loved to shoot pool and was taking classes to learn English, Carlos said.
Dunia Vardales, a family friend who lives in the East 12th Street home, said the family wants to send the body back to El Salvador, which will probably cost several thousand dollars, but doesn't have the money. She said the family planned to contact charity groups and the Consulate of El Salvador for assistance.
"We are trying to collect money to make arrangements," said Vardales, adding that Argueta-Ventura moved to America about three years ago.
Homicide detectives declined to comment about a possible motive in the homicide. Police said they found the body about 3 a.m. Saturday outside a home on Gates Avenue in Brentwood.
A resident of the home answered the door yesterday, but declined to comment beyond saying that she knew nothing of the circumstances surrounding the killing and that she was concerned about an uptick in crime in the neighborhood.
Several residents of the Brentwood neighborhood where Argueta-Ventura's body was found said they were unnerved by the stabbing. Karl Propper, who lives a few hundred feet from the site of the killing, said he would like to see more police presence in the area.
"I almost never see them in the neighborhoods," Propper said.
It is the latest in a series of violent crimes in the area. Three people have been killed and six others injured in shootings in Brentwood, Suffolk County Legis. Ricardo Montano (D-Brentwood) has said. He said the Argueta-Ventura killing is more evidence that the area needs more policing. "You put the resources where the crime is," he said.
A meeting to discuss violence in Brentwood is set for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Brentwood Public Library, Montano said.
With Laura Rivera