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Suffolk cops to release undisclosed evidence in Gilgo Beach killings Thursday

Authorities will discuss steps they have taken to advance the investigation into the multiple killings, police said. Credit: Newsday / Cecilia Dowd

Suffolk police said they will release previously undisclosed evidence in the Gilgo Beach murders and new techniques they are using to advance the investigation at a news conference in Yaphank Thursday. 

Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart, Chief of Department Stuart Cameron, District Attorney Timothy Sini and other Suffolk County law enforcement officials will also discuss a new initiative to share information about the investigation with the public, police said in a news release Wednesday.  

The investigation got a boost in September, Newsday reported last year, when state officials determined that Suffolk investigators can ask the FBI to deploy cutting-edge genetic technology to help them solve crimes. 

Suffolk investigators were given permission to use the FBI to bypass state restrictions on the use of genetic genealogy, a technique in which genetic profiles are run though databases to find potential relatives of a murder victim or suspect. 

The state has not approved the method for use by any public or police crime lab in New York. But state officials determined last year that local officials can use the technology when the FBI is part of an investigation since it is a federal agency. 

A K-9 police officer and his cadaver dog found the remains of a missing sex worker in a thicket of weeds along Ocean Parkway, just east of Jones Beach, in December 2010. 

The remains of nine other people — seven women, a toddler and an adult male — were discovered over the course of the following year. Four sets of remains, including those of the toddler and the adult male, are still unidentified. No arrests have been made.  

Suffolk County police cracked the first case in the state using familial DNA  in 2014. It led to the arrest of a Manorville carpenter, John Bittrolff, in the murders of two women in 1993 and 1994. 

Police were led to Bittrolff through the DNA of his brother, Timothy Bittrolff, who had been convicted of criminal contempt. Timothy Bittrolff’s DNA was put into the state database, which came up as a partial match to DNA at one crime scene and led authorities to his brother. Police obtained a DNA sample from Bittrolff’s garbage, and he was convicted on two counts of second-degree murder in  2017.


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