Today’s discovery of three more bodies along Ocean Parkway between Gilgo and Oak Beach brings the total number of remains to eight and Suffolk Police said the search will continue tonight and tomorrow
The latest remains are with the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office and forensic testing to determine if any are Shannon Gilbert, a missing New Jersey woman last seen in Oak Beach last May, should be done “very quickly” given the lab already has the woman’s DNA for testing purposes, said police.
The news, announced at a press briefing mid afternoon, will keep the westbound lanes of Ocean Parkway from Oak Beach to the Nassau County line closed through tomorrow.
“We are not giving up on the search. There are 25 police recruits combing and searching the area,” said Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer at the press briefing. “We are not going to give up the search for Shannon.”
Gilbert, a prostitute, went missing in the early morning hours of May 1, 2010 after meeting a client in Oak Beach and has not been seen since.
It was her missing persons investigation that led police to the discovery of one set of human remains on December 11, 2010, by a canine unit doing a routine search of the area. Further searching led to the discovery of three more bodies two days later.
Within a few weeks police identified the four victims. All were young white women who used Craigslist for escort work.
Last Tuesday a renewed search effort discovered another set of remains located one mile east of the Gilgo area where the first four sets were found about 500 feet of each other. Those remains have not yet been identified, according to police.
The victims, police said, were killed at another location and disposed at the beach at different times with some remains more than a year old.
Last Thursday police announced that the fifth set of remains was not Gilbert and announced their intentions to begin a more comprehensive search of the entire beach area between Robert Moses Causeway and the Nassau County line.
The thick brush along the roadway has hindered the search effort and police brought in tower ladder fire trucks from local fire departments for aerial search purposes in today’s effort.
Dormer would not elaborate on the state of the latest remains, the specific location or any information on how they were discovered. He said police would keep searching until no more bodies are found
According to police, there are 58 missing females in Suffolk County. Of those, 41 are active investigations.
For a quick look at the developments in the serial killer case, check out the Patch investigation timeline.