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Search at Gilgo Beach yields no new clues

December 6, 2011 2:20:41 PM PST
The search for the remains of 24 year old Shannan Gilbert and clues in the ongoing serial killer investigation resumed along Ocean Parkway in Gilgo Beach.

"No additional items of significance were found today," said one official involved in the case.

Searchers, including police officers and K9 units, arrived at the area just before 8:00 this morning, and they began staging in the Oak Beach Inn parking lot.

There were seven teams, thirty-five officers with ten search dogs, participating in the search.

A Suffolk Police spokeswoman offered very few details, but confirmed the on-going searches are part of a continuing effort to locate evidence in the Ocean Parkway case.

The searches were prompted by information gathered this summer, but dense underbrush simply prevented thorough searching until now.

The spokeswoman offered no specific details on what the new information may be or the source of the information. Police said last week that detectives now think that one person is probably responsible for all 10 deaths.

The search was expected to cover Gilgo Beach, as well as the undergrowth along Ocean Parkway, from the Robert Moses Causeway to Tobay Beach.

Ocean Parkway remained open during the search.

In part, searchers were looking for Shannan Gilbert's remains after the Suffolk County Police Commissioner said there was reason to believe her body was still in the area.

The remains of 10 people - eight women, a man and a baby - were found strewn mostly along a remote beach parkway, but some body parts from those victims also were found on eastern Long Island and nearly 50 miles away on Fire Island. Police have identified only five of the 10 victims. Those five were all women working as escorts. The oldest remains are linked to a case 15 years ago.

The first of the victims was found almost by accident a year ago, when a police officer and cadaver dog were searching for Gilbert. She was last seen in a beach community along Ocean Parkway in May 2010. Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said last week that Gilbert is likely dead, though he said the circumstances of her disappearance don't match those of the other victims. He indicated that the search for Gilbert's whereabouts was ongoing.

Dormer also pulled back on earlier theories that multiple killers may have left the bodies along the parkway, the first of which was a woman who went missing in 1996. Dormer believes that because nine of the 10 were somehow involved in the sex trade, their killings are likely related. The tenth victim, a female toddler, was linked by DNA to a woman believed to be her mother. The remains of the mother and child were found seven miles apart.

The man's remains haven't yet been identified, but police have previously said he was found wearing women's clothing, leading them to theorize that he was a male prostitute.

Police said Monday that the search is not limited to finding Gilbert, but said officers are seeking evidence in the overall investigation.

The last of the 10 sets of remains were found in early April. Since then, a $25,000 reward has led to 1,200 tips in the case, but no suspects have been identified since the first body was found on Dec. 11.

Police have declined to comment on suspects.

The case, which has attracted worldwide headlines, is the subject of a two-hour documentary airing hat one person is probably responsible for all 10 deaths.

The remains of 10 people - eight women, a man and a baby - were found strewn mostly along a remote beach parkway, but some body parts from those victims also were found on eastern Long Island and nearly 50 miles away on Fire Island. Police have identified only five of the 10 victims. Those five were all women working as escorts. The oldest remains are linked to a case 15 years ago.

The first of the victims was found almost by accident a year ago, when a police officer and cadaver dog were searching for Gilbert. She was last seen in a beach community along Ocean Parkway in May 2010. Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said last week that Gilbert is likely dead, though he said the circumstances of her disappearance don't match those of the other victims. He indicated that the search for Gilbert's whereabouts was ongoing.

Dormer also pulled back on earlier theories that multiple killers may have left the bodies along the parkway, the first of which was a woman who went missing in 1996. Dormer believes that because nine of the 10 were somehow involved in the sex trade, their killings are likely related. The tenth victim, a female toddler, was linked by DNA to a woman believed to be her mother. The remains of the mother and child were found seven miles apart.

The man's remains haven't yet been identified, but police have previously said he was found wearing women's clothing, leading them to theorize that he was a male prostitute.

Police said Monday that the search is not limited to finding Gilbert, but said officers are seeking evidence in the overall investigation.

The last of the 10 sets of remains were found in early April. Since then, a $25,000 reward has led to 1,200 tips in the case, but no suspects have been identified since the first body was found on Dec. 11.

Police have declined to comment on suspects.


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