A badly decomposed body found on Sunday in a Queens park was identified as a 16-year-old member of the MS-13 street gang, police said Tuesday.
The teenage boy, a Queens resident, had been stabbed about 30 times, including at least six times in the chest, said NYPD officials. At the request of the NYPD, Newsday is not naming the victim, pending further police investigation.
The body was skeletonized and heavily infested with maggots at the time it was discovered in Alley Pond Park, police said.
The body was believed to have been in the park anywhere from three to seven days.
A blue Los Angeles Dodgers cap was found near the body and the chest bore the tattoo “Familia.” The victim was found about 100 yards east-southeast of a park entrance at Cloverdale Boulevard and 76th Avenue, nearly 300 feet from the paved walkway, police said.
Police said the victim could have been killed elsewhere but think that scenario is unlikely. The teenager had five prior arrests, including one in April for menacing with a weapon, police said.
NYPD officials have long maintained that unlike on Long Island, MS-13 groups are not very large or active in New York City. The group numbers about 132 in the city and have shown little activity, apart from fights and stabbings, said one NYPD gang expert.