A judge on Friday gave Suffolk County until Wednesday to show why it should not have to release 911 recordings relating to the disappearance of Shannan Gilbert in Oak Beach almost six years ago.
Justice Daniel Martin signed the order in state Supreme Court in Riverhead at the request of an attorney representing the estate of Gilbert, whose 2010 disappearance sparked searches that led to the discovery of 10 sets of human remains near Gilgo Beach.
Judges have granted the Gilbert estate subpoenas requiring the county to release the 911 call Gilbert made the night of May 1 and any related 911 calls that night, including those from area residents.
Assistant County Attorney Marcia Lynn told Martin that the tapes should not be released because there is a pending criminal investigation.
But Vesselin Mitev, a Miller Place attorney representing the estate, said there was legal precedent for releasing 911 tapes and other materials needed in a lawsuit.
Gilbert, 24, was a sex worker who was last seen May 1, 2010, after visiting a client in Oak Beach. Her remains were found in a marshy area in Oak Beach in December 2011.
The subpoenas were issued in the Gilbert estate’s lawsuit against Dr. C. Peter Hackett, the last person known to have seen her alive.
The suit said Hackett claimed his house in Oak Beach was a home for wayward girls and took her in. He improperly gave her narcotics to calm her, then allowed her to leave the house in a helpless state, the suit charges.
An attorney for Hackett has denied those claims.
Outside court, the attorney for the estate noted that Suffolk police on Thursday had sought the public’s help with an open case by releasing a video showing the 2014 shooting of Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius.
“And this case has been pending for six years,” Mitev said of Gilbert’s unsolved disappearance and death.
“Every day that passes and the county does not turn over these tapes is a day that justice is delayed, and therefore, justice is denied,” he said.