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Remains on LI Beach not those of missing prostitute

An orange arrow marks the spot on a desolate stretch of Ocean Parkway where the fifth body was discovered this week. Detectives cut a small path leading to where the remains were found, less than thirty feet off the roadside. (N.J. Burkett)
March 31, 2011 2:14:38 PM PDT
The remains found off Ocean Parkway, west of Cedar Beach, on March 29 have been determined to not be those of Shannan Gilbert.

Homicide Squad detectives have notified her family. The investigation into Shannan Gilbert's disappearance will continue.

The Homicide Task Force is continuing the investigation of the remains found on March 29 as well as the investigation of the deaths of four women found off Ocean Parkway in December 2010.

They did not say whether they had identified the latest victim, its gender, or whether this death is connected to the deaths of four women found nearby in December.

An aunt of Gilbert's did not immediately respond to an e-mail and telephone message seeking comment. Shannan Gilbert's sister, Sherre, told Newsday the news brought mixed feelings.

"You prepare for the worst, and then you find out it's not her. How do you take it?" said 23-year-old Sherre Gilbert, of upstate Ellenville. "I am just scared that it's going to turn into a cold case and we're never going to find her."

Investigators did not say whether they had identified the latest victim, its gender, or whether this death is connected to the deaths of four women found nearby in December.

Authorities said Gilbert, 24, had last been seen with Joseph Brewer who had contacted her through Craigslist on May 1, 2010.

Brewer has not been named a suspect and is said to be cooperating in the investigation.

Detectives believe the crimes happened in the middle of the night. That the killer chose the same, desolate location, pulling-onto the shoulder of the westbound lanes, dragging the body out of his vehicle and dumping it no more than 25 feet off the roadside.

Of the four victims identified so far, Maureen Brainard-Barnes was murdered first.

She was last seen on July 9, 2007.

Melissa Barthelemy was next. Having disappeared almost exactly two years later, in 2009.

Megan Waterman vanished on June 6th of last year, and Amber Lynn Costello disappeared in early September of 2010.

Who the latest victim is, and where the murder fits on the timeline is still not clear. But the commissioner revealed that the body had been there for some time.


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