Search efforts to resume at Gilgo Monday

Police scoured an area near Gilgo Beach. (March

Police scoured an area near Gilgo Beach. (March 29, 2011) (Credit: Jim Staubitser)

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Dozens of Suffolk officers, with help from cadaver dogs, will resume a search Monday for a missing Jersey City woman after last week finding a set of human remains they missed on previous canvasses in the Gilgo Beach area.

Police Commissioner Richard Dormer last week said the latest discovery required another full-scale examination.

The officers will begin working west from Oak Beach toward the Nassau County line. The westbound lanes of Ocean Parkway from the Robert Moses Causeway to Tobay Beach will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"It's going to be slow, comprehensive and methodical," a police spokeswoman said.

Gilgo Beach and Oak Beach remained open Sunday, with a few people walking in the sun.

Shannan Gilbert, 24, was last seen in Oak Beach begging for protection from an unseen danger at a stranger's door. By the time a Suffolk police officer drove into the tiny community just before dawn May 1, 2010, Gilbert had vanished into the brush.

During separate searches for Gilbert, who worked as an escort and Craigslist prostitute, police have found five sets of remains. None are Gilbert's; all have been identified except the one found last week.

The first set of remains was found Dec. 11, when an officer with a cadaver dog discovered a skeleton in heavy brush in Gilgo Beach, about 4 miles west of where Gilbert was last seen.

Two days later, three more decomposed remains were found within a quarter mile of the first set. Like the first, they had been wrapped in burlap and left unburied on the north side of the road.

The burlap and the location and proximity of the remains have led police to theorize that a serial killer has used the isolated area as a dumping ground, investigators said.

Without any firm identifications for the remains, police on Dec. 16 began a two-day search of most of the barrier island and some surrounding areas, using dozens of dogs and officers. No more remains were found. The county medical examiner said that, based on medical records, none of the cadavers was Gilbert.

In late January, police told the families of four missing women -- Megan Waterman, 25, of Scarborough, Maine; Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, of Norwich, Conn.; Melissa Barthelemy, 24, of the Bronx; and Amber Costello, 27, who was last seen in North Babylon -- that their loved ones were among the remains.

Investigators returned Tuesday to re-canvass a limited area and found another set of human remains, also decomposed, a mile east of the previous four.

About 36 hours later, officials again announced that Gilbert hadn't been found. Investigators have declined to say if the latest remains are connected to the previous four. With Tania Lopez

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