Three more human remains found on Long Island


Police in Suffolk County searched in the Oak Beach and Gilgo Beach areas on Monday.

Today's discovery brings the total number of victims found so far to eight.

It was too early for to say if any of these newly discovered remains belonged to Shannan Gilbert, a Jersey City woman who remains missing since last May.

Today's search involved dozens of police officers and specially trained cadaver dogs.

Dominick Varrone, Suffolk's chief of detectives, said the dogs were having a difficult time maneuvering through the brush. "They don't like getting smacked in the face with the bramble," he said.

Police said as many as 20 officers had been infected with poison ivy during recent searches, and there also were concerns about ticks.

Suffolk Police will extend the search to the Nassau line on Tuesday. Westbound lanes of Ocean Parkway will be closed for the ongoing search. Eastbound lanes will remain open. Residents who live in the area will need show identification. Other people are asked to stay away.

The bodies of five women had already been found along the remote beach highway since late last year. The fifth body was found last week a mile east of where the remains of four other women were found clustered together in December.

The search that began last week was an attempt to find the body of Shannan Gilbert, a prostitute who vanished last May after running from the home of a client in Oak Beach. It took just days for police to determine the new body was not Gilbert, but investigators have had no luck yet identifying that body.

Authorities said Gilbert, 24, was last seen with Joseph Brewer, who had contacted her through Craigslist on May 1, 2010.

Brewer has not been named a suspect and is said to be cooperating in the investigation.

"We still believe that Shannan Gilbert is in this area," Dominick Varrone, Suffolk County's chief of detectives, told reporters, although he did not elaborate.

All of the killings are thought to be the work of a serial killer who is targeting prostitutes.

Detectives believe the crimes happened in the middle of the night and that the killer chose the same, desolate location, pulling-onto the shoulder of the westbound lanes, dragging the body out of his vehicle and dumping it no more than 25 feet off the roadside.

Of the four victims identified so far, Maureen Brainard-Barnes*/ was murdered first. She was last seen on July 9, 2007.

Melissa Barthelemy was next, having disappeared almost exactly two years later, in 2009.

Megan Waterman vanished on June 6 of last year, and Amber Lynn Costello disappeared in early September of 2010.

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