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Entries in Shannan Gilbert (9)

Saturday
Dec172011

Long Island Beach Remains Identified as Shannan Gilbert

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(OAK BEACH, N.Y.) -- Skeletal remains found in an impassable tangle of swamp and thick brush on a Long Island, N.Y., barrier beach have been identified as Shannan Gilbert, the woman whose disappearance led to the discovery of what police say is a serial killer's burial ground.

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office identified the remains Saturday, and though the cause of death is still undetermined, police have said they believed it was accidental.

The body was found last week about a quarter of a mile from where the 24-year-old Gilbert's purse, identification and shoes were located last week, near Oak Beach.

"[The homicide squad] were on an amphibious machine edging forward into thick brush when the homicide squad detective spotted the skeletal remains lying on the surface of the ground," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said after the remains were found.

Oak Beach is on a barrier island along the South Shore of Long Island, separating the Atlantic Ocean from South Oyster Bay. In the summer the ocean beaches are crowded, but in winter the beaches are largely deserted.

Dormer called the area where the body was found a "very tough, desolate, tangled mess."

He said that Gilbert could have likely been able to see the lights on a nearby parkway and attempted to go in that direction, but that she did not get very far in the marshy, tough ramble.

"If it is Shannan Gilbert, then her location is indicative of her trying to make it to the causeway, which is northeast of where her remains were found," Dormer said.

"There's no way Shannan Gilbert could have gotten through that brush to make it to the parkway," Dormer said. "If somebody is disoriented and anxious and running, it certainly would take a toll on you."

Gilbert, 24, was last seen in May 2010 apparently running from someone near today's search area. On the night of her disappearance, witnesses told police Gilbert did not appear to be acting rationally.

"It appeared at first when they searched that there's no way anyone could get in there," Dormer said. "We went in with the idea that we were going to do this one last time to see if we can find anything and we did."

The search for Gilbert led to the discovery of 10 sets of dismembered bodies that are believed to have been the victims of a serial killer, but Gilbert's death is not believed to be linked to the other 10 deaths.

Detectives believe a single killer is responsible for the dismembered bodies of young women, a male transvestite and a toddler found dumped along a pristine stretch of Long Island's south shore from 1996 to 2010.

Police believe that all 10 of the victims were linked to the sex trade, with DNA indicating that the toddler was the likely daughter of one of the victims.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec132011

Remains Found Near Shannan Gilbert's Purse

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Police searching for missing woman Shannan Gilbert may have found human remains in the area where they previously found the woman's purse, identification and shoes, sources told ABC News.

The discovery came amid heightened search activity in the Oak Beach area of New York's Long Island shore.

Gilbert was last seen in May 2010 apparently running from someone near Tuesday's search area. On the night of her disappearance, witnesses told police Gilbert did not appear to be acting rationally.

The search for Gilbert led to the discovery of10 sets of dismembered bodies that are believed to have been the victims of a serial killer.

Gilbert's death, however, is not believed to be linked to the other 10 deaths.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec072011

Shannan Gilbert ID Found in Search for Her Remains at NY Shore

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) -- Investigators have recovered identification and other evidence linked to Shannan Gilbert, a woman who disappeared in 2010 near the swampy area on the Long Island, N.Y., shore that Suffolk County Police have searched for three days, officials told ABC News.

A pocketbook with Gilbert's identification, a pair of jeans, shoes and a cellphone believed to be hers all were found Tuesday during a search in Oak Beach, N.Y., Suffolk County's police commissioner said Wednesday.

Forensic tests were well underway on the items, sources said.

The evidence found during the search did not include human remains, sources added.

A medical examiner's team was on the scene Wednesday, but sources said remains discovered during the search were identified as animal remains.

Reports that human remains were found were inaccurate, multiple officials told ABC News. Reports that a woman's stockings were found were also inaccurate.

Gilbert is believed to be a missing person and not the victim of either a serial killer believed to have dumped numerous corpses by the shore beach or of another killer.

However, because the remains have not been found and homicide cannot be completely ruled out, investigators face a dilemma over what information can be released. Were the case to be a homicide, under the law, authorities would be strictly limited on what they could release.

Gilbert's mother on Tuesday expressed anger over her claim that authorities failed to inform her prior to the search.

A third day of searches at the Gilgo Beach Association area began Wednesday.

Ten sets of dismembered human remains have been found in the area, believed to be the work of a single serial killer who dumped his victims' bodies there.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Dec072011

Shannan Gilbert Search: Female Accessories Found at NY Shore

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) -- Investigators have firmly linked evidence found in a search near Long Island, N.Y., beaches to Shannan Gilbert, who disappeared in 2010 near the swampy area that Suffolk County Police have searched for three days, officials told ABC News.

Searchers found a woman's purse and shoes after they donned wet suits to comb the swampy area, sources said.

The evidence they found did not include human remains, the sources added.

A medical examiner's team was on the scene Wednesday, but sources said remains discovered during the search were identified as animal remains.

Reports that human remains were found were inaccurate, multiple officials told ABC News. Reports that a woman's stockings were found were also inaccurate.

Investigators have opened the purse and examined its contents, but would not discuss in advance of a media briefing what they believe firmly linked the evidence to Gilbert. Media reports have suggested the purse may have contained identification.

Currently, Gilbert is believed to be a missing person and not the victim of either an apparent serial killer believed to have dumped numerous corpses by the shore beach or of another killer.

However, because the remains have not been found and homicide cannot be completely ruled out, investigators face a dilemma over what information can be released. Were the case to be a homicide, under the law, authorities would be strictly limited on what they could release.

Ten sets of dismembered human remains have been found in the area, believed to be the work of a single serial killer who dumped his victims' bodies there.

In fact, there is a strong likelihood that Gilbert was not murdered at all, sources said, but was a victim of cold water and strong currents after possibly falling in to the water.

On the night of her disappearance, witnesses told police Gilbert did not appear to be acting rationally. She was last seen in May 2010 apparently running from someone near the search area.

The renewed effort began Monday under FBI direction and using information gleaned from past FBI flyovers with sensitive photography equipment able to see down through ground cover.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Hunt for Long Island Serial Killer Turns Up More Bones

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Investigators hunting for a serial killing "animal" found two more sets of bones on New York beaches Monday, raising the number of possible victims to 10.

The medical examiner on Long Island, however, is trying to determine whether one set of bones is human or animal. One of the remains was just a skull, police said.

Police sources also revealed to ABC News that one of the bodies is that of a toddler about 18 months old. It was not clear if the child was connected to the serial killer's murderous spree.

Investigative sources told ABC News that there are multiple persons of interest who may be linked to the bodies on the Long Island beaches and to missing prostitute Shannan Gilbert, whose body has not been found. Among those persons of interest are several who have links to law enforcement and have knowledge of or regular access to the beaches, sources to ABC News.

"We want to bring to justice this animal that has obviously taken the lives of a number of people," Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said.

The latest discovery was about five miles from where eight other bodies were located, and about 1.5 miles east from the popular Jones Beach.

A team of 50 people broadened their search from Long Island's Suffolk County to Nassau County on Monday. They have been joined by New York State Park Police and the FBI, including the FBI's behavioral analysis team.

The fear of a serial killer first spread in December of last year when four bodies were discovered near Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County. The four victims were all identified as prostitutes who advertised their services on Craigslist.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr092011

Long Island Serial Killer Possibly An Ex-Cop?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Police are considering the possibility that the serial killer who has dumped at least eight bodies along a Long Island barrier beach may be an ex-cop or other law officer, law enforcement officials familiar with the case said.

The possibility that the killer could be a former law enforcement official or other person with knowledge of law enforcement techniques is being considered based on evidence that the suspect may understand investigators' procedures, they said.

Numerous people with possible links to the four slain women who have been identified have come to the attention of police since the investigation began, the officials said.

Police are also looking at people who have had regular or routine access to the beach where the bodies were found, they said.

Investigators are also exploring possible links to the serial killer who murdered prostitutes in New Jersey, they said.

According to one investigator familiar with the case and the behavior of serial killers, this appears to be an organized serial killer who plans methodically is probably above average intelligence. It appears that the killer usually lures people, then kills them in one place and disposes of the body in another, the investigator said. This sort of killer is often social -- not a loner -- with family, friends and what would appear to be a normal life, the investigator said.

It was the disappearance of a prostitute that led New York police to stumble on the serial killer's ocean-front dumping ground in western Suffolk County.

Shannan Gilbert, 24, disappeared in May 2010 after arranging online to meet a client for sex. Her disappearance triggered a search in the scrub brush along Gilgo Beach, a popular summer getaway spot, but much less frequently visited in the winter.

In December police found four skeletal bodies, all of them women and all of them prostitutes, but none were Gilbert. Last week, cops found another four bodies. Those bodies have not been identified, but Suffolk County Police said Tuesday that none of the remains belonged to Gilbert.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Shannan Gilbert Not Among Eight Bodies Linked to Long Island Beach Serial Killer

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A missing prostitute whose disappearance led New York police to stumble on a serial killer's dumping ground on a secluded beach is not among the eight bodies who investigators have found and identified, police said Tuesday.

Shannan Gilbert, 24, disappeared in May 2010 after arranging online to meet a client for sex. Her disappearance triggered a search in the scrub brush along a remote beach halfway between New York City and the Hamptons, a popular summer getaway spot.

In December police found four skeletal bodies, all of them women and all of them prostitutes, but none were Gilbert. This week, cops found another four bodies. Those bodies have not been identified, but Suffolk County Police said Tuesday none of the remains belonged to Gilbert.

Cops obtained DNA samples of Gilbert's family last year and were able to quickly check the remains against those samples.

The police conclusion suggests that Gilbert is possibly a ninth victim of the serial killer.

"The search of the area will continue tomorrow," Suffolk County police said in a statement Tuesday. Cops in rain slickers searched the brush along Gilgo Beach again Tuesday looking for the bodies of more women potentially killed and dumped in the thick vegetation, while other detectives are working to create a profile of the man who is stalking prostitutes online and killing them.

Suffolk County police are keeping a tight lid on many of the investigation's details, commenting publicly only on the search efforts -- the canine units with cadaver sniffing dogs, and a dozen police recruits from the academy brought in to help search for bodies.

Experts outside the investigation consulted by ABC News said cops are compiling a vast database of clues and working up a profile of a single serial killer suspected of killing at least eight women, most of them prostitutes, and dumping their bodies on Gilgo Beach over four years.

The deaths are likely the result of a single killer who knows the area well, said Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant and former FBI agent who has investigated dozens of high-profile cases, including the death of Washington intern Chandra Levy and the 2001 anthrax mailings.

Police would not confirm the genders, ages or identities of the newly discovered bodies. They would not comment on the level of decomposition or whether these bodies, like the others, were wrapped in burlap.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec162010

Woman's Remains Not Among Four New York Bodies

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(OAK BEACH, N.Y.) -- A woman last seen running in terror from a Long Island, N.Y. house in May is not one of four bodies dumped along a New York beach over the last two years, a forensic analysis has concluded.

Police speculated that Shannan Gilbert, 24, might be among the victims whose remains were found last week along a road that runs beside Gilgo Beach -- a discovery that has prompted fears a serial killer might be on the loose.

"The Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office has determined through analysis of forensic evidence that none of the human remains found in Gilgo Beach during the past week are that of Shannan Gilbert," police said in a prepared statement. "Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives have notified Gilbert's family. The investigation into the disappearance of Gilbert is still ongoing."

Earlier, police swarmed around the home where Gilbert last was seen in May and confiscated an SUV from the property.

Despite the search around the home of Joseph Brewer, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said he had no suspects in the deaths of the four women.

The commissioner also tried to downplay fears that a serial murderer was on the loose.

"I don't want people to think that we have a Jack the Ripper running around Suffolk County with blood dripping from a knife," Dormer said. "This is an anomaly."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec162010

Hunt for Possible Serial Killer Intensifies in New York

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Police investigating the possibility that a serial killer may be on the loose on New York's Long Island have intensified their efforts at a home that may be connected to the discovery of four decomposing female bodies along a deserted stretch of beach earlier this week.

Authorities closed a 10-mile stretch of road near the house Thursday morning.  Police dogs were also brought into the area.

Police won't confirm how the house is connected to the investigation, but neighbors said Shannan Gilbert, a prostitute, was seen running for her life from the home.

Gilbert could be one of the four still-unidentified bodies dumped along Gilgo Beach over the past 18 months.

Police say Gilbert was a prostitute who met her last known client on Craigslist.

A man who lives at the house where police are searching, reportedly said that Gilbert was at his house for a party but that she became agitated and left.  Police have towed one car from the property.

Gilbert's family said that she made a frantic 911 call herself and even named her alleged attacker.  Police won't comment on whether the call was made.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio