Investigators have determined that human remains found on Jones Beach Island this week are not that of Shannan Gilbert, the missing New Jersey prostitute who police have been looking for since she disappeared last May after meeting a client in Oak Beach.
Suffolk County police officers had uncovered the remains Tuesday west of Cedar Beach, about a mile east of Gilgo Beach where the remains of four online escorts were found in December, leading police to believe a serial killer dumped the bodies along the secluded stretch of Ocean Parkway.
The first remains were found while officers were searching for clues in the disappearance of the 24-year-old Jersey City woman. Meanwhile, the search continues and police cautioned that it is too early to know if the latest remains to be found are linked to the other four.
“We’re going to go back on Monday, with another full scale search, starting at Oak Beach and heading west all the way up to the Nassau County line,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said during a news conference Wednesday at police headquarters in Yaphank.
He would not discuss the gender or condition of the remains found Tuesday, which he said had been there “for some time,” but said he expects to learn the identity “very shortly.”
The remains were taken to the county medical examiner’s office in Hauppauge where forensic scientists are conducting the examination.
Homicide Squad detectives notified the Gilbert family of the development while the investigation continues.
Police first identified 22-year-old single mother Megan Waterman, of Portland, Maine, who last seen at a Hauppauge hotel on June 6, 2010.
The family of one of the victims, 24-year-old Melissa Barthelemy, who was last seen on July 12, 2009 in the Bronx, said they had received taunting phone calls shortly after her disappearance.
The other two victims were identified as:
Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, of Norwich, Conn., last seen on July 9, 2007 in Manhattan.
Amber Lynn Costello, 27, last seen on Sept. 2, 2010 in her hometown, North Babylon. She was never reported missing.
Police urge anyone with information to call 1-800-TIPS or the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392.
-With Lindsay Christ