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Scientists: Carbon Dating Could Help Identify Victims Who Washed Ashore At Gilgo Beach

Police search West Gilgo Beach on April 6, 2011 (Photo/Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

Police search West Gilgo Beach on April 6, 2011 (Photo/Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

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GILGO BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Investigators working to identify the human remains that have washed up on Long Island’s Gilgo Beach may turn to science for help.

So far, five of the victims who have washed ashore have been identified but five others have not.

WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall reports

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California said carbon-14 dating may help determine the ages of the unknown victims.

“The technique uses the carbon 14 concentration in dental enamel and they get a date of birth,” scientist Bruce Buchholtz told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall.

The carbon-14 dating can determine how old a person was when they died and possibly the year they died, scientists said.

Buchholtz said the technology could help investigators pinpoint the victims’ identities through process of elimination.

“If you have no idea how old somebody is, you can at least narrow down the possibilities of a missing person,” Buchholtz told Hall.

Everyone has carbon-14 in their bodies from food, Buchholtz said.

Suffolk County investigators have said they would consider pursuing any method that could potentially provide additional information.

Early this year, investigators said it appeared that more than one killer was responsible for the 10 bodies that have washed ashore at Gilgo Beach.