Human remains found in an Indianapolis field belong to a man the FBI believes was killed by the notorious MS-13 gang.
The remains were found in a wooded area of Grassy Creek Regional Park in Indianapolis on Aug. 1 and Aug. 2.
DNA from the remains was examined by experts at the University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center, who eliminated all other potential donors except for Israel Anibal Mejia-Martinez.
Mejia-Martinez’s last address was in Usultan, El Salvador.
“Mejia-Martinez was believed to have been murdered approximately one year ago and buried in a shallow grave where the remains were discovered by the FBI Evidence Response Team. The remains were recovered in connection with an ongoing MS-13 investigation in the Southern District of Ohio,” the FBI stated in a Dec. 20 press release.
FBI officials told the Indianapolis Star that the investigation indicated the victim was killed by MS-13 gang members.
People who live in the area of Grassy Creek Regional Park noted that the search for the remains took several days.
“It was like a three-ring circus, you know? You’re going like ‘What the heck is going on over here’ but nobody is saying anything,” Anthony Parran told WTHR.
Alerted about the death, he added: “That is news and is it a shocker. Well, it’s like, wow. Ok.”
“It’s a dumping ground, if you want to get as far away from the actual crime as possible, it would be ideal. Why here? I don’t know,” Parran said.
Another resident watched earthmoving equipment and an FBI van come and go.
“I know there’s plenty of ghosts out here because my kids are scared at night,” the resident said.
Anyone with information about the death of Mejia-Martinez is urged to contact the FBI at (614) 849-1765.
MS-13’s motto is “kill, rape, control.”
The gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, was initially formed by Salvadoran immigrants that fled to Los Angeles during the civil war in their home country.
“The gang became increasingly violent—drawing upon the Salvadoran wartime experiences of its members and their cultural use of the machete—to protect its members from Mexican-American street gangs and their rival, the hybrid 18th Street gang,” Robert J. Bunker, an adjunct research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, told The Epoch Times.
A huge deportation effort in the early 2000s, which expelled thousands of MS-13 members from the United States back to El Salvador, contributed to the gang taking hold in Central America. El Salvador is now the gang’s operational base. The Justice Department estimates around 40,000 members live in Central America and 10,000 live in the United States.
“MS-13 has created a brand—like Los Zetas in Mexico—based on its reputation for engaging in unspeakable acts of brutality using machete and knife attacks against those that cross it,” Bunker said.
“This barbaric reputation greatly aids the gang in its collection of street taxes from local merchants and helps it to protect its turf and drug trade against opposing gangs who are afraid to face the ‘street terrorism’ it can wage against them.”
Epoch Times reporter Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.