Oak Beach Residents Say Property Values Decreasing After Bodies Found

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Locals from Oak Beach complain property values are plummeting after officials found five bodies in the area and announced that a possible serial killer is on the loose.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Oak Beach resident fears the area is known as a dumping ground

joseph brewer home Oak Beach Residents Say Property Values Decreasing After Bodies Found

Credit: Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, Inc,

Police are planning a new full-scale search for more possible bodies and clues beginning Monday.

Among the Oak Beach houses up for sale is the one apparently visited by Jersey City prostitute Shannan Gilbert, who disappeared last May.

Joseph Brewer, who officials said contacted Gilbert through Craigslist, had his Oak Beach home searched and car seized during the investigation.

“I’m innocent in this case, so I have truth on my side,” Brewer told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera in December. “I have no friends other than truth.”

“My prayers go out to the family,” Brewer said on January 24. Asked if he felt vindicated, he responded: “No. I am not a victim.”

His home (pictured) is now listed for sale for $439,000.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall gets a real estate agent’s opinion

Gus Coletti, the former president of the Local Homeowner’s Association, said Brewer’s house is on the market for half of its estimated value. He said the home was worth $850,000 two years ago.

About a dozen other homes are now listed for sale in the area.

“Nothing has been selling,” Coletti said. “Right now we’re known as the dumping ground.”

Not everyone thinks Oak Beach is in a real estate slump. Bettie Mienel, a real estate agent at Laffey Fine Homes, insists beach front homes are always in demand.

“The people that were killed and left there were not from that area and hopefully whoever is doing it isn’t from that area so I don’t think this has anything at all to do with real estate,” Mienel said.

Coletti was one of the last people to see Gilbert alive. He had told authorities a woman, believed to be Gilbert, came to his door around 4:45 a.m. on May 1 pleading for help.

Coletti said he attempted to call police before the woman fled.

Moments later, an unidentified man in a sport utility vehicle drove past the house and said he was looking for the woman, but then took off. Neither the woman nor the man was seen by the neighbor again.

The search for Gilbert led police to the area where four bodies, wrapped in burlap, were discovered by cadaver-sniffing dogs last December.

More remains were found Tuesday off Ocean Parkway, west of Cedar Beach, about a mile from where the other bodies were found. Police did not say whether they had identified the latest victim, gender, or whether the death is connected to the others.

The four victims found in the area last year have been identified as: 24-year-old Melissa Barthelemy of Buffalo, 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes of Connecticut, 27-year-old Amber Lynn Costello of North Babylon, Long Island and 22-year-old Megan Waterman of Scarborough, Maine.

Gilbert is still missing.

More from Mona Rivera
  • mm

    Shannon 911 call, Joseph Brewer is kill me! That’s the killer.

  • frustrated

    so some girl comes pleading for help to my door at 4:45am for help… and instead of taking her in immediately… I say.. hold on a sec… wait there… I will call the police for you…
    nice… real nice… hopefully a lesson there for all of us to be a little more generous with our help when it is requested.

    • Eric

      Home invasion is a huge problem on long island. the fact that he answered the door was amazing in my eyes.

    • Jennifer Toolin Porter

      last summer some man was at my front door jiggling the knob at 2 am. When my dogs woke me and my husband I looked down and saw the man and from the window asked what he was doing. He said, someone was chasing him with a gun. I told him I was not letting him in and calling the police. It took the police over an hour to arrive at my house and 3 phone calls asking where the hell they were. They picked him up and found out he was being chased but I was not chancing letting a murderer or theif into my home!

  • LI

    gotta love people’s priorities, eh?

  • Main Lander

    So if it’s the dead bodies that are driving down the home prices, how do you explain the drop in prices on the mainland? You folks have bay and/or ocean views, quiet streets, out of the way living 25 miles from NYC. Stop your crying. Want to help the prices, go out and help find the killer.

  • Ted Bundy

    Boo hoo!

  • MAwy

    Have the genius detectives started to wonder why this guy Brewer has his house up for sale?

  • Dee Composing

    Pretty popular place that Oak Beach, a crematory would clean up over there.

  • Jimmy

    Oak beach was always creepy.

    • sally rogers

      I found it to be creepy too. I hate having to drive through there. It always seemed desolate.

  • The Chief

    What should I care about the serial killer?? I’m not a female prostitute!! At those prices, I may buy two houses down there!!

  • Arthur, I want you to Kill Van Kull NOW!!!

    I used to live by Fresh Kills, but then they arrested all the the Mobersters in the area . and now the realtors feel it is O.K., so make no bones about it

  • Dahmer Realtors

    2BR, EI kitchen, large lawn for bodies, 2 DR garage, screened in porch, Serial Killer for neighbor, frequent police patrols. Only 10K down, will go fast.

  • dan

    Relax people, this will all blow over!!

  • Junior

    Please! Nothing is selling anywhere, and certianly not alot in that price range.

  • Marcus

    This is great news. Mabye I can buy a beach house now. Always wanted to live there.

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