Nassau police hope a gold necklace found on human skeletal remains discovered in Lattingtown by a woman walking her dog will help identify the person, who they believe is a victim of foul play.
The chain necklace, which also has a gold pig pendant, is the best lead investigators have, said Det. Lt. John Azzata, commanding officer of the homicide squad.
A woman and her dog were walking in the sand at the end of Sheep Lane on Monday afternoon when they came across the remains, police said.
Azzata said the chain is stamped as being 24-karat gold, but after an analysis investigators determined it is actually 22-karat gold. Twenty-four-karat gold is popular in Asian and Indian community jewelry stores, he said.
Azzata said he's taking everything into account when it comes to the necklace, including Chinese astrology. In Chinese culture, the years of the pig include 1995, 1983 and 1971, he said.
At a news conference, Azzata said the remains are believed to belong to someone between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. But how long they were buried in the sand will have to be determined by a Nassau County forensic anthropologist, who is scheduled to examine the bones Thursday, he said.
Azzata stopped short of confirming the remains are of a woman, also pending tests. He did say that women's clothing, a pair of pants and undergarments were found with the remains. And he shot down speculation that this find was connected to the 10 sets of human remains found on Gilgo Beach and along Ocean Parkway, which Suffolk County police continue to investigate.
"When this victim was found, I reached out to them and told them I had a victim near the water," he said. But it doesn't appear they are linked, Azzata said.
Suffolk County police did assist and provided cadaver dogs to search the area, he said.
The remains also show signs of trauma, which is why the homicide squad has taken over the investigation, he said, but he declined to say what those signs were.
Anyone who recognizes the necklace or has any information should contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS or the Homicide Squad at 516-573-7789.
With Beth Holland
and Bill Bleyer