The bodies of three people were found on a secluded beach on Long Island yesterday as investigators stay on the hunt for a possible serial killer who used the area as a dumping ground.
The latest discovery, on Gilgo Beach about 40 miles east of the city, brings the number of bodies found in the area to eight. The bodies of four prostitutes, all wrapped in burlap, were found nearby in December, along with an unidentified body found last Tuesday.
Police began investigating the area after Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old from Jersey City police say was a Craiglist prostitute, disappeared there May 1. She still hasn't been found, and her family must now wait to see whether she is among the latest, still-unidentified victims.
"It's a nightmare," said Sherre Gilbert, one of Shannan's sisters. "You don't know It is her? Is it not her?"
The new discoveries prompted one of Shannan's younger sisters to question the thoroughness of the previous searches.
"They've been out there for less than 12 hours and they already found three bodies," Sarra Gilbert said.
Still, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said yesterday he "can't connect" the latest findings to the four women found in December.
Gilbert was last seen at a client's place in Oak Beach on May 1. She fled after arguing with an argument with the client, and she sought help from a nearby neighbor.
The neighbor called 911, but by the time police responded Gilbert had vanished, and the neighbor reportedly said she was followed into the dark by a car. The client was reportedly cleared by police.
Police will continue combing the area today.
Authorities have identified four of the eight bodies found near the Long Island beach. All were prostitutes who advertised on line and were last seen alive en route to meeting with clients. Their remains were found in December. They are:
— Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, of Norwich, Conn.
— Amber Lynn Costello, 27, who was last seen in North Babylon
— Megan Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, Maine
— Melissa Barthelemy, 24 of the Bronx