BRENTWOOD, Long Island — Hundreds of friends and family gathered Friday at a candlelight vigil for the two murdered Brentwood teens as reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) doubles to $10,000.
The reward was doubled after the agency received an anonymous donation of $5,000, Suffolk County Crime Stoppers announced Friday.
The body of Mickens was discovered on Stahley Street by a passing motorist Tuesday night. Cuevas' body was found late Wednesday afternoon in a wooded area nearby.
Police say the two girls had been hanging out Tuesday when they were apparently attacked. Mickens was killed while allegedly trying to save Cuevas from being abducted.
Suffolk County police say there are strong indicators the attack was gang-related.
Friends and family of the two teens attended the candlelight vigil held the Brentwood High School athletic field Friday night. They remembered the two girls, who had been best friends since kindergarten.
"She was honestly one of my closest friends, like ca't believe she is gone. At first I was in denial, but now I'm here and it's crazy," a friend of Cueves told PIX11 News as she wiped her tears.
The vigil honored the teens bright lives. A family member said Cuevas and Mickens' "goals were to play into the WNBA."
"That was their goals. And if they didn't succeed at doing that they understood that by working hard and earning a scholarship, even if it was a partial scholarship, it helps you with your education," a family member said.
The untimely deaths of Cuevas and Mickens have also brought attention to the gang violence in the Long Island community. Family and friends urged anyone with information that may lead to the killer(s) to come forward.
"You really need to come forward. Like I said, they are going to have kids one day and they're going to hope this doesn't happen to their kids," a family member said.
Suffolk County Police have ensured information leading to the killer(s) arrest is eligible for the $10,000 reward, regardless of the person's age, criminal or immigration status. The money is guaranteed to be paid within 48 hours.
“The Suffolk County Police Department is thankful for the anonymous donation which reflects the resilient partnership between the department, Crime Stoppers and the community,” stated Commissioner Timothy D. Sini. “Partnerships such as this are truly fundamental and we encourage anyone with information which may lead to the capture the depraved individual or individuals who took the lives of these two young ladies to call the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 1.800.220.TIPS.”
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is a privately funded non-profit that partners with the police department to offer cash rewards for anonymous tips that lead to arrests. Anyone interested in donating can contact Crime Stoppers at 1.800.220.TIPS.
Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS, text “SCPD” and your message to CRIMES(274637) or visit www.tipsubmit.com.