Gilgo victims' kin plead for justice

Relatives of four Gilgo Beach victims announce plans for Saturday morning vigil and discuss how they are dealing with their losses. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (June 10, 2011)

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Families of three women found slain in the Gilgo Beach area six months ago challenged their loved ones' killer Friday to surrender to authorities.

Standing on the barrier island a few miles from where the remains of four women were discovered in December, the loved ones of Megan Waterman, 22, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, and Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, cried and choked back tears as they appealed to the suspected serial killer.

"You know who you are. You know what you did to these women," said Lorraine Ela, Waterman's mother.

Waterman was last seen alive June 6, 2010, outside a hotel in Hauppauge; Barthelemy in June 2009, and Brainard-Barnes in 2007.

"You need to finally come forward," Ela said. "It's been four years for some girls, two years for another one. It's been a year for my daughter."

The families and supporters plan to gather Saturday outside Oak Beach to offer prayers and make a show of solidarity.

The remains of Waterman, Barthelemy, Brainard-Barnes and a fourth woman -- Amber Costello, 27 -- were found wrapped in burlap and dumped near Ocean Parkway. All four had worked as prostitutes, police said.

The search for another woman, Shannan Gilbert, 24, prompted the discovery of the four women. Authorities have since found the remains, some dismembered or incomplete, of six other people, although their deaths are not believed to be associated with the four found in December.

The Barthelemy family made the trip to the Island Friday with a cardboard box on the backseat.

It contained a small bone from Barthelemy's arm, found near her body in December, the family and police said.

The bone, which was located a short distance from the rest of her remains, was identified as hers about a month ago, Suffolk police said.

An NYPD lieutenant who had earlier accepted the box from Suffolk officials on the family's behalf presented it to them Friday along with a folded American flag, the family said.

News of the existence of the bone came in a surprise phone call about three weeks ago from the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's office.

Lynn Barthelemy, Melissa's mother, said the family was never told that her daughter's remains were not complete or the origin of the missing bone.

The family plans to have the bone cremated and placed in the same marble urn with the other ashes, now in the family's Buffalo home.

Barthelemy said the women "weren't just prostitutes. They were all beautiful women . . . they were daughters, sisters, cousins, nieces."

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