More bones found on New York beach

Posted April 11, 2011, at 6:17 p.m.

WANTAGH, N.Y. — Police have found what they suspect are human remains in two locations near a New York beach, bringing to 10 the number of potential victims of a possible serial killer.

Lt. Kevin Smith said a human skull was found among vegetation about 90 feet from Ocean Parkway on Long Island on Monday afternoon. Police found another set of remains earlier in the day.

Both sets of remains were sent to the Nassau County Medical Examiner office for further analysis.

About 125 searchers, some with dogs and others on horseback, were scouring Jones Beach State Park in Nassau County when the discovery was made. In neighboring Suffolk County, officers have uncovered eight sets of human remains in recent months.

Authorities believe the deaths may be the work of a serial killer, but no suspect has been identified.

Shannan Gilbert, a Jersey City, N.J., prostitute who was the initial focus of the search, is still missing.

The search has been focused on an expanding stretch of Ocean Parkway on Long Island. A search of a 7-mile section concluded Thursday, but investigators moved farther west Monday.

Police discovered the first body in December while looking for Gilbert, a 24-year-old who was last seen in May in Oak Beach, a seaside enclave several miles away. Three more bodies turned up two days later. All four later were identified as prostitutes in their 20s.

The four women’s bodies were found amid a 4-foot-tall tangle of sea grass punctuated by scrubby pine trees. Authorities have identified them as Amber Lynn Costello, 27, originally of Wilmington, N.C.; Megan Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, Maine; Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 28, of Norwich, Conn.; and Melissa Barthelemy, 24, of Buffalo, N.Y.

A fifth body was found two weeks ago, about a mile east of the first four, and police located three more bodies last week. Police have not identified any of the more recent bodies and have not definitively linked them to the remains found in December.

All of the bodies were within three miles of one another on the north side of Ocean Parkway. The bones discovered Monday also were on the north side of the road.

Authorities had quickly ruled out Gilbert as any of the first eight victims because of forensic evidence they had on file in her case. She had been in Oak Beach to meet a client. Police have not named the client as a suspect in her disappearance, and he has cooperated with investigators.

 

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