Body ID'd as missing teen in Brentwood; Kayla Cuevas laid to rest

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Friday, September 23, 2016
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Stacey Sager reporting live

BRENTWOOD, Long Island (WABC) -- Police on Long Island have identified another body found in a wooded area in Brentwood as a teen missing since February, while a 16-year-old victim was laid to rest in a tearful service.

Fifteen-year-old Miguel Garcia Moran was a homicide victim, Suffolk County police said. His body was found on Wednesday.

Earlier on Friday, family and friends gathered to bid a final farewell to 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas at St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church in Brentwood. She was found beaten to death along with her best friend, 15-year-old Nisa Mickens.

Some video from the funeral:

Garcia Moran is the fourth victim identified, but police won't say if all the homicides are connected. But they do say they are all part of a growing investigation into gang violence, and that things may appear to get worse before they get better.

"But for us to make progress, we have to eradicate gangs," Suffolk police Commissioner Timothy Sini said. "And that's not going to be a clean process."

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Cuevas was killed along with her best friend, 15-year-old Nisa Mickens, whose parents, having buried their own daughter only two days earlier, came to Cuevas' funeral. They urged all parents to wake up and be vigilant.

(sot elizabeth alvarado/victim's mother)

"Be safe," mom Elizabeth Alvarado said. "Mothers and fathers need to get into their Instagram, their Facebook, because when you don't know what your kids are doing on the phone, this is what happens."

The other teen whose remains were found as part of the gang violence probe was identified as 19-year-old Oscar Acosta, missing since April.

Many say the police can't solve the problem without the community's help.

"We're getting more and more people to join," one resident said. "We're going to take our streets back. This is our home. This is where we are raising our kids, and these animals need to go."

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The reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the murders of Cuevas and Mickens has been increased to $15,000.Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS or text "SCPD" and your message to CRIMES(274637).