Suffolk County police have launched a new Gilgo Beach Homicide Investigation Task Force — a team that will pool investigators from federal, New York State and local law enforcement agencies, authorities announced Tuesday.
The task force will focus on solving the person or people responsible for the murders of 10 victims whose remains were found along Ocean Parkway in 2010 and ‘11. It will also focus on using scientific advancements to put names to the four victims who remain unidentified.
“I believe this case is solvable and identifying the person or people responsible for these murders is a top priority,” said recently appointed Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison.
Suffolk police were searching for Shannan Gilbert, a New Jersey woman who was reported missing from Oak Beach, when investigators discovered the victims, who were mostly sex workers thought to have been killed over a period of nearly 20 years. Gilbert was later found dead in Oak Beach.
Task force members include the FBI, State Police, Suffolk Sheriff’s office, and the Suffolk district attorney’s office.
“The families of the victims discovered in areas around Gilgo Beach deserve answers and to see their loved ones’ killer, or killers, face justice,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York field office. “We will support this task force with the tools it needs to hopefully bring the investigation of these murders to a successful conclusion.”
Tee victims include Megan Waterman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Amber Lynn Costello, Melissa Barthelemy. Also found were the head and limbs of of Jessica Taylor, whose mutilated body was found in Manorville in 2003, Valerie Mack, who was also found partly in Manorville in 2000. The four unidentified victims are an unidentified woman dubbed Fire Island Jane Doe whose legs washed up on Blue Point Beach in 1996 and whose skull was discovered on Ocean Parkway, a young Asian male found wearing women’s clothing, an unidentified woman nicknamed Peaches who was matched through DNA to Baby Doe, also disposed of there.
“One of the first things I did after coming into office in January was meet with the families of the victims to let them know that solving this case is a top priority,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said. “It has been more than a decade and these families deserve answers and reassurances that we will not let up until we find those responsible for the murders of their loved ones. Our partnership in this task force shows our commitment to getting these heinous crimes solved. The families deserve it.”
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case. Individuals can anonymously submit information online to Crime Stoppers by visiting P3Tips.com, calling 1-800-220-TIPS or visit gilgonews.com to submit tips online.
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