GILGO BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Investigators expanded their search Tuesday of a remote, densely overgrown stretch of a Long Island barrier island as they searched for more victims of a possible serial killer.
It was also determined Tuesday that the three most recent sets of remains, which were found on Monday along Ocean Parkway, were not those of Shannan Gilbert of Jersey City. Authorities will continue their search of the area on Wednesday.
“I’m just shocked,” Sherre Gilbert, the sister of the missing woman, told the Associated Press. “I am still hoping for the best outcome.”
Shannan Gilbert was not a match to any of the three bodies found Monday. 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports.
CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reports the grim search expanded with 16 K-9 units working a grid across Ocean Parkway — from the bay side of Gilgo to the ocean bluffs of Oak Beach, combing through thick bramble, angry brush, filled with ticks and poison ivy. It is the sandy graveyard where eight bodies were secretly dumped — some of their remains discovered wrapped in burlap.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: Poison Ivy, Ticks, Heavy Brush, Rain, Wind, And Fog
The question now is: are there more victims out there?
It’s not clear yet to investigators if the remains are connected, but forensic experts said it appeared to be the work of a serial killer.
“It’s not just a pattern. It’s rituals, and the rituals including killing young women,” said Dr. Charles Bahn, psychology professor at John Jay College. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised. It could be two men who do this together — one of them doing the killing and the other much more interested in the sex.”
“He successfully buried many of the bodies. We’re still discovering them apparently and we find them after a long period of time. What we do find is that they tend to be in similar places and in similar postures,” Bahn added.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones speaks with a forensic scientist about the killings
The investigation has turned the Gilgo and Oak Beach communities into places of worry and dread.
“It’s becoming notorious over here between all the police and the action going. We didn’t used to lock our doors here; now we lock doors,” Oak Beach homeowner Donald McLaughlin told CBS 2’s McLogan.
McLaughlin lives on the ocean. He and his neighbors are unnerved. Some are putting their houses up for sale in this tiny beachfront enclave where Gilbert disappeared last May from a client’s home. She was last by a resident who called 9-1-1.
Police were searching for Gilbert when they unearthed the remains of four other women – all in their 20s– in December. They were all prostitutes listed on Craiglist.
A fifth body turned up last week, and then on Monday there was the discovery of three more sets of remains added to the gruesome mystery.
WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs: Area Residents Are Uncomfortable
So now everyone is wondering who is responsible for these heinous crimes.
“Somebody very sick,” Oak Beach resident Blaise Cuff said. “These kinds of things are atrocious.”
Forensic anthropologists from the New York City crime lab examined the newest remains and late Tuesday announced DNA testing proved none is a match to Gilbert. The investigation is ongoing, but detectives are tight lipped about leads and clues.
One resident told McLogan a K-9 officer searching right in the neighborhood wouldn’t speak to the residents. Residents said they are upset because they are not getting the proper information.
“No, not at all. We’d like to know what’s going on,” Jill Korman said.
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