NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The discovery of body parts of at least 10 people along Ocean Parkway since last December gave rise to fears of a possible serial killer murdering escorts found on Craigslist.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer announced Tuesday that seven of the 10 victims may have been prostitutes — including an Asian male believed to be between 17 and 23-years-old. Dormer said the man was wearing women’s clothing when his remains were found in April. Authorities believe he was murdered five to 10 years ago. DNA testing also linked one of the victim’s bodies to an unsolved homicide 15 years ago.
Police may appeal to those in the escort business to help in the investigation.
“We are not interested in their occupation. We feel their information could be very valuable to this investigation,” Dormer told reporters, including CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with the latest developments
Dormer released composite drawings of two of the five unidentified persons whose body parts were recovered. Photographs of jewelry — including an earring and bracelet — and other items of interest found near the remains were also released.
“We’re asking for the public’s assistance and investigators across the country to study and consider the provided details as they may relate to some of their open cases,” Dormer said.
WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs At Suffolk Police Headquarters
Also, using DNA testing, investigators linked a woman’s skull discovered in April near Jones Beach to two legs found in 1996 in Davis Park on Fire Island.
Megan Waterman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, Jessica Taylor and Amber Lynn Costello are among the victims whose remains have been identified.
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the deaths. That’s the highest reward in Suffolk County history.
Back in June, friends and family of the identified victims held a vigil to remember their slain loved ones.
Investigators believe a serial killer murdered at least four of the victims. Back in May, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said as many as three killers might be responsible for the bodies.
Police have worked up a profile of the suspected killer, saying he’s likely a white male between 25-40 years old. He’s believed to be intelligent, savvy and street smart.
At least one of the killers butchered the victims. Taylor’s head and hands were recovered removed from her torso.
“It’s clear that whoever killed Ms. Taylor was intent on preventing her identity from being known, even going to great lengths to remove a tattoo,” Spota told CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne.
A female toddler, 18-24 months old, was also found wrapped in a blanket along the highway. The circumstances of her death remains unclear.
Dormer said it appears the toddler and one of the unidentified women, who was found seven miles away in Nassau County, are related.
Looking back, the first of the victims was stumbled upon by a cadaver dog searching for missing Craigslist escort Shannan Gilbert in 2010. She has yet to be found.
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