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Shannan Gilbert's family files lawsuit

November 15, 2012 2:43:16 PM PST
The mother of Shannan Gilbert officially filed suit on Thursday against Dr. Peter Hackett, an Oak Beach resident who Mari Gilbert claims was the last person to see Shannan alive when she disappeared in May 2010.

Gilbert's attorney says Hackett was served with court papers on Wednesday at his new home in Florida, and that the suit names more than a dozen different causes of action, including wrongful death.

All along, the elder Gilbert has claimed Hackett called her the night Shannan disappeared, and told her he had taken in her drunk and disoriented daughter. But he allegedly told the mother Shannan had left his home, never to be seen again.

When Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger interviewed Hackett in April 2011, he denied making that call or ever even having heard of Shannan. Suffolk County police have, at least publicly, ruled him out as a suspect.

Mari Gilbert and her attorney held a press conference Thursday morning in Riverhead.

Gilbert was a prostitute who disappeared in Oak Beach in May 2010. Six months later, a police dog looking for her discovered the first of 10 fully decomposed bodies along Ocean Parkway. All of them were ruled the victims of homicide, at the hands of as many as two different serial killers.

In December 2011, Shannan's remains were eventually uncovered less than a mile from where she disappeared. The medical examiner ruled her cause of death as "inconclusive," and police said she was likely not the victim of foul play. Gilbert's mother has already filed suit against Suffolk County and its police department. The body is still in the custody of the ME's office, pending the lawsuit.

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