New York City and state authorities who arrested an ex-con suspected of killing three women alerted Suffolk County police, who are exploring if he’s linked to the notorious Gilgo Beach serial murders, but don’t believe him to be a suspect.
Police apprehended parolee Lucius Crawford on Tuesday at his Mount Vernon home and charged him with killing a woman who was found dead inside. Investigators are also questioning him about the deaths of two other women in the ‘90s.
But, contrary to media reports that the NYPD told Suffolk police that Crawford is a “possible person of interest” in the Gilgo case, Suffolk police released a statement Wednesday saying that city police merely shared they had made the arrest.
“At this point time there does not appear to be any reason to suspect that Crawford has any involvement with the homicides that have occurred in the last several years where the bodies were discovered in the vicinity of Gilgo Beach,” Suffolk police said.
A Suffolk police spokeswoman added that Homicide Squad detectives still intend to investigate whether Crawford has any connection to the case.
Crawford, 60, who reportedly has served nearly 30 years in prison for violent acts, was released from New York State prison in 2008 after an attempted murder conviction.
That’s a year after the disappearance of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, the first of four young women whose remains were found near Gilgo in December 2010.
In the months of searching that followed, Suffolk police found the remains of four other women, a man and a female toddler along Ocean Parkway—but only the first four are believed to be victims of the Gilgo killer.
Only five of those 10 have been identified. Those identified were all sex workers.
Police were looking for Shannan Gilbert, 24, of New Jersey, when they made the initial discoveries. Her remains were found a year ago this month in an Oak Beach march near the home of a man she visited before she disappeared May 1, 2010.