Shannan Gilbert family seeks donations to pay for her burial
The family of the woman whose disappearance led to the discovery of a dumping ground for bodies along Ocean Parkway is turning to crowdfunding to raise money for her burial, the family attorney said.
The body of Shannan Gilbert, 24, of Jersey City, was found three years ago on Dec. 13 in Oak Beach after investigators had found the bodies of five other women: Melissa Barthelemy, 24, of the Bronx; Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 24, of Norwich, Connecticut; Megan Waterman, 22, of Maine; Amber Lynn Costello, 27, of North Babylon; and Jessica Taylor, 20, of New York City. Five other unidentified remains, including a toddler and an Asian man dressed as a woman, were also discovered. Police said all of the women were sex workers.
Gilbert disappeared in May 2010.
Her mother, Mari Gilbert of Ellenville, has insisted that an independent autopsy be performed on her daughter after the Suffolk County medical examiner found the cause of her death was undetermined.
The medical examiner's office will release Gilbert's remains to a Long Island funeral home, which has agreed to have the independent autopsy performed, but not until a burial place is paid for, family attorney John Ray said.
Ray said former New York City medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden will conduct the autopsy pro bono. He said funeral services, a headstone and a burial plot would cost at least $16,000.
The family, through attorneys Ray, Mitev & Associates, has set up an account on the site Go Fund Me to help pay for the burial at gofundme.com/justiceforshannan.