Suffolk cops issue sketch of Gilgo victim

An artist's rendition of a woman whose remains An artist's rendition of a woman whose remains were found along Ocean Parkway in Nassau County in April 2011. These remains are connected to remains found on Blue Point Beach, Fire Island in April 1996. Photo Credit: SCPD

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Suffolk police Saturday night released an artist's sketch of a slain woman in the Gilgo Beach homicides whose body parts turned up 15 years and more than 20 miles apart.

The sketch is an artist's guess of how the still-unidentified woman might look based on her skull, found last spring.

Her remains are among 10 sets that have been found near Ocean Parkway in the unsolved Gilgo Beach serial killings.

The body of Shannan Gilbert -- the woman whose disappearance triggered the search that led to the discovery of the 10 other sets of remains -- was found last month.

The sketch, drawn by Suffolk police artist Danielle Gruttadaurio, shows a woman with light-colored hair parted down the center. Her legs were found on Fire Island in 1996 and her skull near Jones Beach in April.

Forensic sketches are done by scrutinizing remains' bumps, irregularities, curves and angles to extrapolate faces from the skulls.

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The case has confounded investigators, with former police Commissioner Richard Dormer saying he believes the same killer is responsible for the slayings and the district attorney, Thomas Spota, publicly disagreeing with that theory.

The sketch released Saturday is the third Suffolk police have issued in the cases. In September, the agency publicized Gruttadaurio's sketch of a white woman and an Asian man found dressed in women's clothing.

In October, a police supervisor said the department would later that month release the sketch that was released Saturday. The sketch was sent out Saturday after WABC-TV reported finding the sketch on the website of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. A Suffolk police spokesman declined to comment.

Only five remains found near Gilgo have been identified: Melissa Barthelemy, 24, of the Bronx; Amber Lynn Costello, 27, of North Babylon; Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, of Norwich, Conn.; Megan Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, Maine; and Jessica Taylor, 20, of New York City. All had worked as prostitutes.

In addition to the three composite sketches of victims that have been released by police, a girl believed to be 16 to 32 months old was found April 4, and a blood relative -- likely her mother, police say -- was found on April 11.

In the Gilbert case, police believe the Jersey City woman accidentally drowned after stumbling up to three-fourths of a mile on foot into dense wetlands away from a client's home. Gilbert, who worked as a prostitute, had gone missing in May 2010. Results of Gilbert's autopsy have not been released.

Anyone with information on the woman's identity is asked to contact the homicide squad at 631-852-6392 or to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.

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