Riverhead Police arriving at the scene of a grisly discovery by a passing motorist on Wading River-Manor Road in Manorville Oct. 15: a burning body dumped in the woods on the side of the road. Photo: Peter Blasl

(Updated 10/21, 10:44 a.m.): Police have made two arrests; Bryan Rosales-Mejia, 21, and Orlen Soliz-Galvez, 18, both of Amityville were charged with murder in the second degree. 

Suffolk County Police homicide and and arson squad detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man found in Manorville yesterday afternoon.

The man has not yet been identified and his body has been removed by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner for an autopsy, Suffolk County Police said in a press release issued early Friday morning.

As first reported yesterday by RiverheadLOCAL, Riverhead Town Police were called to the scene at 1:45 p.m. to investigate “a possible burn victim” off of Wading River-Manor Road, north of Schultz Road. A passing motorist traveling on Wading River-Manor Road noticed a fire on the side of the road and discovered it was a burning body, according to Suffolk Police.

Riverhead Town Police called the Suffolk police homicide squad, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said Thursday afternoon. Riverhead also called in a Suffolk Police helicopter to search the area for “other activities.”

The body was located within the Otis Pike Preserve, Suffolk police said. The Otis Pike Preserve was deeded to the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation by the U.S. Navy after Grumman left the Calverton Naval Weapons Reserve Plant site in 1996. It had been part of a crash zone surrounding the plant, where Navy fighter jets were built and tested.

At least six other bodies or remains have been found in the remote Manorville woodlands since 2000. The other bodies were found in areas to the south of the spot where the burning body was discovered yesterday. Two male bodies were found in the woods near Halsey-Manor Road in 2000 and 2003. The dismembered bodies of two women were found near Halsey-Manor Road in 2000 and 2003 as well. One of those women was identified through DNA as Jessica Taylor, 20, whose torso without at head, hands and forearm, was found near the LIE in Manorville on July 26, 2003. The other woman remains unidentified.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.