The skull of one of the victims of a likely serial killer on Long Island has been identified as 20-year-old Jessica Taylor, a woman whose dismembered body was found in Manorville in July of 2003, with her head and hands missing, and a tattoo gouged off her hip, just off Halsey-Manor Road, Suffolk County police said Monday. This new development is the first official link between two Manorville cold cases and the homicides on Ocean Parkway.
Taylor’s body was found just east of Megan Waterman’s body. Waterman was the first Gilgo Beach victim to be identified by name. She disappeared in June 2010. Taylor went missing just weeks before her nude body was found by a woman walking her dog in July 2003 off a utility road just off Halsey Manor Road and the Long Island Expressway.
Taylor was working as a prostitute near the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City and had recently left Washington, D.C. when she went missing.
“We know that Ms. Taylor had lived and worked as a prostitute,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota at a press briefing Monday morning.
Taylor’s skull, hands and forearm were found in the brush of Ocean Parkway along with the bodies of nine others, beginning in December of 2010 with the discovery of the bodies of four women who advertised as escorts online near Gilgo Beach–Megan Waterman, Amber Lynn Costello, Maureen Brainard-Barnes and Melissa Barthelemy.
“This investigation is not an episode of CSI or Criminal Minds that is going to be solved in an hour,” said Spota.
Another of the partial remains found on Ocean Parkway have been linked to another murdered, but unidentified woman, in Manorville, whose torso was found within miles of Taylor’s body. Police are still working to identify this woman’s identity.
Another of the bodies, also yet to be identified, is believed to be that of an Asian male, Spota said.
The only Asian male to have gone missing on Long Island and listed in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System is Yim Yeung Tsui, of New Hyde Park, who went missing on August 26, 1998. Yeung Tsui was 140 lbs, 5’8″ and a student in his third year at Stony Brook University when he went missing. He was last seen at 8:30 a.m. in New Hyde Park. He was 20 years old when he disappeared.
Spota also said the last of the four most recent bodies found on Ocean Parkway is that of a child between 18 and 24 months old and wrapped in a blanket, found 200 feet away from Taylor’s skull, police say, but the child is not believed to be connected to Taylor or any of the other victims at this time. The child’s death has also not been confirmed a homicide at this time.
Spota said the killer went to great lengths to hide the identities of Taylor and the unidentified woman in Manorville, but did not make any attempts to hide the identities of the four women originally found near Gilgo Beach. He also said that the Manorville murders are significantly different than the four women originally found near Gilgo.
Spota also said that the murders of the Asian man and the child, believed to be a girl, do not appear to be related to the murders of any of the women.
“It is clear that the area in and around Gilgo Beach has been used to discard human remains for some period of time,” Spota said. “As distasteful and disturbing as that is, there is no evidence that all of these remains are the work of a single killer.”
Homicide Squad detectives have not yet released the results of high-resolution images taken by FBI aircraft that may indicate additional areas that need to be searched.
Police made the first discoveries while searching for 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert of Jersey City, New Jersey, a woman who advertised escorting services online and was last seen after meeting a client in Oak Beach. Investigators are still searching for her.
Police have not said if they believe these murders are connected to other unidentified and dismembered homicide victims found on Long Island.
A handless, headless, legless torso was found in Hempstead Lake State Park during the summer of 1997. She was wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag and stuffed into a dark-green Rubbermaid container with a floral pillow sham and frayed red towel. The only identifying mark on her body: a bitten heart-shaped peach tattoo on her left breast with two drops underneath.
Although police said it was unlikely due to the most recent undisclosed evidence, investigators are also looking into the possibility these homicides could be related to the four unsolved homicides of four prostitutes found murdered behind the Golden Key Motel in Atlantic City, New Jersey in a drainage ditch in November 2006.
Molly Jean Dilts, 20, Kim Raffo, 35, Tracy Ann Roberts, 23, and Barbara Breidor, 42, were found on their stomachs in the water by two women walking behind the motel.
They were all strangled.
They were all mothers who left young children behind.