Fire Island Jane Doe Identified As Karen Vergata

Karen Vergata 1
Michael Malaszczyk

Fire Island Jane Doe has been identified as a woman named Karen Vergata, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney.

On April 20, 1996, Vergata’s legs and feet were found on the bay side of Fire Island — about a mile west of Davis Park Beach. In 2011, additional remains including a skull were discovered at Tobay Beach.

The skull was found after the partial remains of Jessica Taylor had been found on Gilgo Beach — Taylor’s other partial remains had been found in Manorville — on the same day as the additional remains of “Peaches” were found on Jones Beach. Peaches’s other partial remains had been initially found at Hempstead Lake State Park in 1997. She was 34 at the time she went missing.

Karen Vergata 2
Michael Malaszczyk

“Ms. Vergata went missing on apparently Feb. 14, 1996,” Tierney said. “She lived on West 45th Street in Manhattan, and was believed to be working as an escort at the time of her disappearance. There was no missing persons complaint filed.”

Tierney added that after the Gilgo Beach Task Force was formed, the FBI was able to identify Vergata as Fire Island Jane Doe, using a DNA swab from a relative.

Tierney declined to comment on any suspects in Karen Vergata’s death, and Rex Heuermann remains charged only with the deaths of Amber Costello, Melissa Barthelemy, and Megan Waterman. He is a prime suspect in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

He added that they are still investigating the other bodies, incluing Vergata’s.

“This is a confidential investigation, and it’s continuing,” Tierney concluded.

Other unidentified victims of the alleged Long Island Serial Killer include the aforementioned Peaches, her daughter “Baby Doe,” and an Asian male.