The FBI is seeking help from residents of Mobile, Alabama, to identify Gilgo Beach murder victim Jane Doe No. 3 and her toddler, a law enforcement source told Newsday.
The Mobile Police Department said the federal agency is seeking relatives of a deceased man because they may be able to help identify a woman and child killed in another state. The mother, the Mobile Police said, has a tattoo of a peach on her chest.
A law enforcement source close to the case said investigators believe there is a slight lead to potentially identify the victims. The FBI and the Mobile Police Department did not return phone calls late Monday.
The Mobile Police Department posted on its Facebook page:
"The FBI is seeking relatives and friends of Elijah 'Lige' Howell/Howard [1927-1963]. Mr. Howard lived in Prichard, AL, with his wife Carrie and passed away in Mobile, AL, in 1963 with Ms. Lillie Mae Wiggins Packer. His relatives may be able to assist in the case of a woman and child found in another state.
"Does this tattoo look familiar?
"If anyone has any information, please call 1-800-call-FBI or www.tips.fbi.gov."
The tattoo depicts a peach that Long Island homicide investigators say belongs to a victim known as Jane Doe No. 3.
The Gilgo case broke in late 2010 with the discovery by police of human remains along a desolate stretch of the Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. A year later, a total of 10 sets of remains had been found, mostly of young women laboring as sex workers, but also a toddler and an Asian male.
More than a decade later, what have become known as the Gilgo Beach killings remain among the most publicized unsolved serial murder cases in the United States.
On New Year's Eve, incoming Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said he would bring "a fresh set of eyes" to the investigation. Since then, he has released video images of Gilgo Beach homicide victim Megan Waterman in a Hauppauge hotel just before she disappeared almost 12 years ago. Most recently, he released audio of a 911 call another sex worker made to police in May 2010 before she went missing. The commissioner said he hoped the new material would help police solve the case.
Harrison toured the area of Oak Beach where several sets of remains were found. Harrison is the fifth Suffolk police commissioner to oversee the investigation. In February, he created a task force he said he hoped would solve the case.
The 10 sets of human remains, known collectively as the Gilgo Beach homicide victims, were found in December 2010 while Suffolk police searched for Jersey City-based sex worker Shannan Gilbert, who went missing on May 1 of that year in Oak Beach. Gilbert’s remains were not found until the following December and authorities have said they don't believe Gilbert is a homicide victim. The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause and manner of Gilbert’s death undetermined.
Police have been trying for years to identify the set of remains of the woman known only as "Peaches" and that of a toddler in a case that is under Nassau County jurisdiction. A spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department has said in the past that the agency's Homicide Squad is working with the FBI and Suffolk County Police Department on this case.