OAK BEACH, NY (CBSNewYork) — Police in Suffolk County say remains found in the marsh of Oak Beach have been positively identified as Shannan Gilbert.

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner made the identification on Saturday, but police say an exact cause of death has not yet been determined.

“I think it is obvious to all that the Suffolk County Police Department has expanded an extraordinary amount of time and resources over the past year and a half to locate Shannan Gilbert. Difficult terrain was searched and re-searched. The last leg involved amphibious vehicles and divers in wet suits who searched over a hundred acres of marshland,” Suffolk County Police Department Commissioner Richard Dormer said Saturday.

Investigators found what they believed to be Gilbert’s remains on Tuesday in a marshy area on Oak Beach about a quarter-mile from where her cell phone, purse, jeans, shoes and lip gloss were found last week.

While her cause of death in still unknown, Commissioner Dormer has suggested that Gilbert accidentally drowned on the morning she disappeared.

Gilbert was last seen running and screaming for help in Oak Beach in May of 2010.

It was while searching for Gilbert on Dec. 11, 2010 when police found the first set of human remains along Ocean Parkway.

By April of 2011, police had discovered 10 sets of remains on Gilgo Beach, all found about seven miles apart along Ocean Parkway.

Dormer has said he believes a single serial killer is likely responsible for the murders of all 10 victims, but said Gilbert’s disappearance is not connected to the serial killer case.

“Our condolences to the Gilbert family and her friends. We hope this brings them closure and peace,” he said.

But not everyone agrees. Friends and family have said they don’t believe her death was an accident and insist that the fact that her clothing and purse were found far from her remains, suggests foul play.

No word on when a cause of death will be released.

Dormer’s first one-on-one interview about the latest developments in the case since Gilbert’s remains were found began at 10 p.m. on 48 Hours Mystery.

Please share your thoughts below…

Comments (15)
  1. DanTe says:

    The serial killer is a Dormer family member. That’s why it’s taking so long to find him. If this ain’t true, Dormer can easily subpoena this site for my IP address and sue me. In fact, a few of my posts may actually be from a CBS IP.

  2. Professional Troll says:

    Did she die a virgin?

  3. Dalby Jason says:

    In may at 5am its about sun up. If she runs from anyone and tells first person she sees “they are trying to kill me” then vanishes. Then about a year later you find her clothes and then find her body 1/4 mile away sounds to me its no accident. A helicopter flying over area in may with a heat image thing would of found her that day. The day before you find her personal property you say a helicopter was in the air 3 months ago and found this spot but due to poison ivy you had to wait till it got cold and died? Its sad to say but being a sex worker might of been her down fall. Because if this was a regular person/kid they would of found them that day…

  4. Scott says:

    Why was her body found in such difficult terrain? Was it placed at that location or did her body move after death? I am assuming where she was found was where she was placed or pretty close anyway. So this tells me that the murder has the means to get through difficult marshland iether on foot by likley with a vehicle. I would research those who own a vehicle that can get through marsh like those fan boats in Florida. Anyone who owns, bought, rented, leased, sold or built one should be a suspect.

    1. Geoff says:

      LOL another CSI or Cold Case fan thinks they can solve the LI serial killer case in an hour……Leave the detecting to the real detectives and stick to Clue to satisfy your craving to solve homicides….

      1. Scott says:

        I was not even commenting about the other killings. If you read the story before you embarrased yourself, you would see that detectives believe this killing is inrelated. I was just voicing a possibility. I have desire to be a detective or think I can even come close to a professional detectives abilities. But I can solve one mystery. You live in your mother’s basement becuase you are a moron. And you proved it with your comment.

  5. ace11 says:

    Bottom Line…She was a Prostitute

    All this time and valuable money should have been spent on more important things

    What a total waste

  6. The blogger says:

    A sad situation…..

    This is happening all over the United States……..

    When will it all end?


  7. Captain Obvious says:


    All she has done is criticize. The parents of one of the other victims was shown personally thanking each officer on scene for their effort. Not her.

    It takes a big man to call someone an “asshole” on line. Clearly, you are lacking somewhere, upstairs or perhaps, downstairs.

    1. JACK Spratt says:

      Memo to C Obvious–The girl is dead, there is a serial killer on the loose, and all you are concerned with is a thank you?? The only thing that is obvious is that you are an idiot.

    2. Sofia says:

      Good point!

  8. Jeanette Rodríguez-Sánchez says:

    She’s the victim here people. Yes she shouldn’t have been hoeing around but the one that needs to ROT IN HELL is the KILLER!!! May Shannan RIP…

  9. Captain Obvious says:

    When will her mother thank the police and tax payers for all of the effort to find her daughter? I wonder how much all of the searching cost? What other crimes could the police have been solving while they searched for her?

  10. Steve says:

    Big deal! I’m sick of this all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. gilligan says:

    may the good Lord have mercy on her soul

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