Shannon Gilbert: Police find 8 bodies searching for missing New Jersey woman
NEW YORK — The remains of three more people were discovered Monday morning near Gilgo Beach on Long Island, making it a total of eight bodies found since police began searching for a missing New Jersey woman in 2010.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said police had discovered five human remains since they began searching for 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert who went missing May 1.
Four of the five bodies found were all prostitutes in various stages of decomposition. The additional three bodies found Monday make a total of eight people found while searching for Shannan.
Shannan was last seen in the Gilgo Beach area. Police are searching for a potential serial killer.
The search for Shannan continues. Shannan, like the women whose bodies were found, advertised for prostitution services on sites like Craigslist.
A body was found on March 29 off ocean Parkway west of Cedar Beach. When a medical examination determined the remains were not Shannan police continued their search which led to Monday’s discovery of three more bodies.
Gilbert’s family is being asked to identify whether the remains found Monday are those of their missing daughter, Dormer said.
“We should move forward to find out quickly if it’s her or not her. We put a priority on identification,” Dormer said.
“We haven’t given up on the search for Shannan Gilbert,” Dormer said, “just in case the remains we discovered today are not hers.”
Shannan’s sister Sheree Gilbert hopes the most recent body found is not Shannan’s. She told HLN’s Nancy Grace Monday night that her family was notified about the discovery of the latest bodies Monday afternoon.
Authorities told Shannan’s family that DNA testing will be done “as soon as possible” to determine their identities.
“We’re just hoping and praying that it’s not her,” Sheree added.
The first four bodies found were stuffed into bushes on a quarter-mile stretch of waterfront property on Oak Beach.
It appeared “they were dumped there by the same person or persons,” Dormer said in December. “It’s too coincedental that there were four bodies in the same location.”
The remains of the fifth body found was a mile from where the other bodies were discovered, he said. He refused to disclose exactly where the three additional remains were found on Monday.
One of the initial four bodies found had been there for as long as two years, police say. All four of the first women found advertised for prostitution on Craigslist.
Officers are on guard from the Causeway to Nassau County Line so they can resume their search Tuesday, Dormer said. The highway is closed Monday night.
“The investigation is going to move forward over the next hours, and into tomorrow,” days and weeks ahead, Dormer said.
Authorities identified the four victims found in December as:
Amber Lynn Costello, 27, originally of Wilmington, N.C.;
Megan Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, Maine;
Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 28, of Norwich, Conn.; and
Melissa Barthelemy, 24, of Buffalo, N.Y.
Police said all four were last seen planning to meet clients for sex booked through Craigslist.
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