NASSAU COUNTY, N.Y. — Family members of a missing teenager say they fear the worst, and possible MS-13 gang involvement, as an anonymous text message prompted investigators to search a Long Island park Monday.
Louis Germosen, 19, has not been seen since June 28, according to the Nassau County Police Department. The teen was last seen at his home in Westbury and heading to Roosevelt Street in West Hempstead, according to family members. Detectives had previously said he was last seen in New Cassel.
Investigators tell PIX11 they are treating Germosen's disappearance as a missing person case. The area, however, has been terrorized by MS-13 in recent years, and more than two dozen deaths have been blamed on the gang in the past two years.
When asked if gangs could be involved, the teen's father, Louis Germosen, tearfully responded:
"We've been hearing about some gang affiliations. That he might have been hanging out with the wrong people. We recently got a message that he might have had some people hanging out with some MS-13. I'm not 100 percent sure, we just got that tip last night."
Germosen's mother Marta Flores later said she does not think her son was directly involved in gangs, but perhaps knew members.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder on Monday said investigators have found no information thus far that there is a gang connection in the case.
The days-long search took a turn Sunday when, according to the missing teen's step-mother, his cousin received an anonymous text message telling the family to search Hempstead Lake State Park.
In addition to giving two addresses, the anonymous sender said, "Good luck God bless."
Thirty-five to 40 people and a helicopter searched the park Monday, Ryder said, but have so far not found anything.
Germosen's mother, Marta Flores, said she does not want that to change.
“I hope they don’t find anything because what I want is for Louis to come back home alive,” Flores said.
Whatever is found, Germosen's step-mother, Suzanne Bayer, said she wants the family learn more soon.
"It’s been going on so long, and you just want it to end, and you just want to know so you have peace of mind. … Whether it’s good or bad, we just want to bring him back home to his mother and his father," Bayer said.
The missing teen is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds, with brown hair and dark colored eyes. His hair was braided shortly before his disappearance, Bayer said.
Detectives ask anyone with information to contact the Missing Persons Squad at 516-573-7347 or call 911.