EAST BOSTON (CBS) — Police Commissioner Bill Evans said officers are investigating whether gang activity is to blame in the death of a teenager whose body was found near Logan Airport on Christmas Eve.

Luis Fernando Orellano Ruano, 18, was found stabbed to death near 99 Airport Way at about 10:45 p.m. on Dec. 24. Now, Evans said police are investigating whether the international gang MS-13 was pressuring Ruano prior to his death.

“I think it’s a young kid who came here, didn’t have any real family here,” Evans said during a press conference Thursday. “Unfortunately I think he got involved in the gang stuff.”

Ruano is the sixth teenager to die a violent or suspicious death in East Boston in the last 15 months. On Thursday night, a vigil was held for Ruano and others who have met a violent end in the neighborhood.

Community leaders say just one death is far too many.

“We feel that they could be our son, our daughter, friend or neighbor and so we really feel that this community is heartbroken over what’s been happening here,” said vigil organizer Paul Rogers.

Ruano is originally from Central America. His last known address is in Lynn, but Evans said he was living on the streets of Chelsea. According to the FBI, members of Mara Salvatrucha, known as MS-13, are mostly Salvadoran nationals or first generation Salvadoran-Americans, but immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and other Central and South American countries are also known to be part of the gang. MS-13 is involved in various crimes, but the FBI notes the gang is known for brutal violence.

Evans said police are hoping to reach out to the city’s kids to prevent gang connections.

“We’re going to work hard with all our schools and all our social service agencies to reach these kids because they come over here with nothing and they’re easy prey, they don’t have a whole lot,” he said. “I think for some of them, the gang becomes their family.”

Anyone with information on Ruano’s death is asked to call police at 1-800-494-tips.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports


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