What to Know
Nisa Mickens was found dead with at least 10 injuries in a roadway in Brentwood on Tuesday evening.
Authorities said that she may have been the victim of some sort of gang-related violence.
Her friend, Kayla Cuevas, has been missing since Mickens was found dead.
Two teenage girls were found dead less than a day apart on Long Island, hours after they were hanging out together Tuesday evening, police say.
Nisa Mickens was found beaten to death on Stahley Street in Brentwood Tuesday night, the eve of her 16th birthday, according to police. A passing motorist found the body and called police.
Mickens was found brutally beaten with at least 10 injuries, including cuts and head trauma, police officials said. She was pronunced dead at the scene, and a medical examiner later ruled that she died in a homicidal assault.
Her best friend, 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas, had been with Mickens earlier in the day and was reported missing after Mickens was found. Twenty hours later, police said they found a body matching Cuevas' description in a wooded area just a few hundred feet from where her friend's body was. A neighbor had called 911 to report the body near a tree in their yard.
Suffolk County Police Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer said investigators believe the two killings are connected, though they're not offering a possible motive. They say the deaths may be gang-related.
"This brutal attack of a teenager will not stand in Suffolk County," Police Commissioner Tim Sini said. "We're going to catch this depraved perpetrator."
It's not yet clear how Cuevas died.
The mothers of the girls held each other Wednesday night on the roadway where Mickens' body was found. They grieved their daughters under the pouring rain.
"We're all out here for our babies," said Elizabeth Alvarado, Mickens' mother. "It has to stop. The killings are going to stop. What's it going to take?"
As thunder clapped, Alvarado said, "She's crying over us. She's washing everyone's sins away."
On what would have been Mickens' birthday, her parents left the gifts she'd asked for, a basketball and balloons, on the spot where her body was found.
Anyone with information on her death should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.