Investigators announced Monday they had at least partial IDs on four additional remains found along Ocean Parkway, after the bodies of four women—Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy, Maureen Brainard-Barnes and Amber Lynn Costello—who advertised escort services online were found in December 2010 and identified.
A skull, hands and forearm belong to Jessica Taylor, a 20-year-old woman who disappeared in 2003 and was last seen working the streets of New York City, her body found in the Pine Barrens of Manorville. A skull, hands and leg bone belong to the torso of a woman also found within miles of Taylor in 2000. One set of remains belongs to a female child between the ages of 18 and 24 months. Another belongs to an Asian male in his late teens to early 20s.
The only Asian male listed in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System as having disappeared from Long Island 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. But investigators have not determined a connection between the men at this time. UPDATE: Investigators have ruled out Yim Yeung Tsui as a possibility.
And then there were two.
Two blue arrows, miles apart, mark the spots where remains were most recently found on the Nassau County portion of Ocean Parkway.
One reportedly incomplete set of bones was found 1.5 miles east of the Jones Beach water tower and county police uncovered a human skull in the afternoon farther east near Tobay Beach. Both sets of remains are still undergoing forensic analysis.
And now that a connection has been made between the Ocean Parkway crime scene and the two cold cases of murdered and mutilated women in Manorville, could there also be a connection between a 14-year-old cold case in Lakeview?
On June 28, 1997, on the west side of Lakeside Drive, 200 yards north of Peninsula Boulevard, Hempstead Lake State Park a black female torso was found with her arms, head, and legs below the knee severed.
A man hiking with his son found her in a green Rubbermaid container, along with a red towel and floral pillow sham. Investigators say she was between 16 and 30 years old, had an abdominal scar from a cesarean section and a tattoo of a peach in the shape of a heart with a bite taken out of it and two drips falling from its core on her left breast. Investigators call her “Peaches” and she was dead up to three days before she was found.
“Somebody must know something,” Det. Lt. William Brosnan, the lead Homicide Squad investigator on the case told the Long Island Press in July 2010. “Somewhere out there she has a child, and at this point in time, that child is at least 13 years old.”
Or could the Ocean Parkway crime scene be related to the murder of another woman, whose left leg and foot washed up on the property of James Dolan’s Oyster Bay estate on March 28, 2007?
The woman’s stabbed torso had washed up in a suitcase on a Mamaroneck beach on March 3. Her right foot and leg washed up in Cold Spring Harbor on March 27.
Investigators describe her as a Hispanic or light-skinned black female 5’10”, 180-200 lbs wearing a red camisole with a Spanish label, purple Champion sweats, tan long-sleeved Voice T-shirt, blue bra, and a tattoo of two cherries on right breast. Scraps of paper in the crevices of the suitcase form a calendar page that says “cinco” and “begin to live.” The suitcase was made by InGear, model Protege, sold only at Wal-Mart.
She had been dead for up to two weeks.
And although there is evidence on file from both of these crime scenes, as well as the unidentified bodies found on Ocean Parkway, it is not enough.
“You can get dental, you can get DNA, but we need something to compare it to,” said Nassau County Medical Examiner Eric Smith, who worked on the “Peaches” case. “We have to have an idea of who that person might be.”
And in the case of prostitutes, who often lead a private life very separate from society and even their families, who often aren’t reported missing at all, this is an extremely difficult process for investigators.
Add in a potential two or more killers using the same area as their dumping grounds and that job becomes even harder.