Suffolk County police expanded the search Thursday for evidence on Ocean Parkway while reiterating that it will take weeks, if not longer, for investigators to learn the identities of four women who were found dead in Gilgo Beach this week.
The parkway is closed both east and west bound Thursday as investigators continued to comb the brush on the eastern end of Jones Beach Island. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer, who said Tuesday cops believe the cases to be connected to a possible serial killer on Long Island, also urged the public to remain calm.
“I don’t want everyone to think that we have a Jack the Ripper running around Suffolk County with blood dropping from a knife,” Dormer told reporters at a news conference at the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office in Smithtown. “Go about your business, don’t worry about this.”
Dormer said that New York State police brought in 10 cadaver dogs to help search the area surrounding the quarter-mile stretch of beachfront roadway on the north side of the barrier island where the grisly discoveries were made. The search area has been expanded to include the south side of the island as well as points further east and west.
“We want to cover all the areas of interest,” Dormer said.
A Suffolk County medical examiner said extracting DNA samples from skeletal remains to test for potential matches could take up to a month. If no match is found, the last resort would be facial reconstruction. Officials declined to discuss specifics regarding the condition of the bodies, but noted that there are many variables that go into the forensic work being conducted.
“There are many environmental factors that affect remains that are left outside,” said Yvonne Milewski, a Suffolk medical examiner.
Police have already removed an SUV from an Oak Beach home of Joseph Brewer, where missing New Jersey prostitute Shannan Gilbert was last seen. Officers were searching for evidence in her case when they initially discovered skeletal remains Saturday.
A phone listing under the homeowner’s name has been disconnected. Dormer said there are currently no suspects in the case.
That includes Joseph Brewer.
The parkway is only open to residents who live on the east end of the island.
With AP and Jaclyn Gallucci