TOBAY BEACH, LONG ISLAND (PIX 11)—Police searched dense marshland by helicopter near Jones Beach on Tuesday, looking for new clues in what may be the case of two or more serial killers dumping victims' bodies near the ocean near the Suffolk - Nassau County line. Investigators may also be closer to nabbing a suspect or suspects.
The developments come after searchers made two different finds of human remains on Monday in Nassau County. They found a skull in a bird sanctuary at Tobay Beach, and more remains about a mile-and-a-half away, near the side of Ocean Parkway near Jones Beach.
The discoveries bring to ten the potential number of bodies found along Ocean Parkway since December, when investigators carried out the first of three different searches. In that operation, between Oak Beach and Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County, searchers turned up the bodies of 4 women, all prostitutes who advertised online. Megan Waterman, Maureen Brainard- Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, and Amber Lynn Costello may have all been strangled, and their remains were wrapped in burlap.
Then, in between late March and earlier this month, cops found the remains of four more victims near Gilgo Beach. Their remains were not wrapped in burlap, as the prostitutes' remains were. Instead, some of the body parts found in the last few weeks were in black plastic bags. Wrapped in a blanket, however, were the remains of a child under five years old.
The difference in how the bodies found in each search were left implies that there may be two different serial killer cases. Acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter told PIX 11 News that he could not comment on that possibility, citing an ongoing investigation. He also said that he cannot say anything about information from unidentified police sources indicating that there are persons of interest in these cases.
Krumpter's boss, County Executive Edward Mangano, has been extensively briefed on the case and also said in a PIX 11 interview that he would not say anything to jeopardize the ongoing case. He added, however, that the message must now be that "There is no good place to commit murder in Nassau County." Mangano acknowledged that as his detectives work with Suffolk County investigators to solve these crimes, they must do all they can to ensure that nobody else considers using Ocean Parkway as a dumping ground for bodies.
Meanwhile, Jersey City sex worker Shannan Gilbert, whose disappearance late last year on Ocean Parkway launched the search and investigation effort in the first place, has yet to be found. Even though investigators have not released the identities of the remains that were most recently discovered, they have said that they are not those of Shannan Gilbert.