Suffolk cops release new belt images in Gilgo Beach killings probe
The Suffolk County Police Department on Monday released two more photos of a belt investigators believe may have been handled by a potential suspect in the Gilgo Beach killings.
One photo shows what appear to be the letters "HM" or "WH" embossed on the tip of a dark, worn leather belt. The other photo features black leather on what appears to be the opposite end of the belt or the back of the embossed tip.
The images were posted on the department’s GilgoNews.com website, launched in January to provide the public with credible information about developments related to the Gilgo Beach homicide investigation.
It is the second time this year that authorities have asked the public to come forward with any information someone might have about the belt in hopes of solving the mystery of who killed 10 women and dumped their bodies along Ocean Parkway. The first four bodies were discovered 10 years ago this month.
In May, authorities announced that they had used genetic genealogy to identify a victim previously known as "Jane Doe No. 6" as Valerie Mack, a Philadelphia woman who was 24 years old when she went missing in 2000.
Officials did not provide a statement about the significance of the belt on Monday.
But Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said at a Jan. 16 news conference that the item was a "significant piece of evidence" that could help the department identify a suspect in the case. That news conference marked the first time in years that Suffolk police had commented on the investigation.
The photos released in January show close-ups of the letters embossed on the belt, while one photo posted on the website Monday provides additional context, showing the letters as small and close to the tip of the belt.