Serial killer fears grow in N.Y. after bodies found

December 15, 2010 1:36:00 PM PST
The FBI is offering its resources to assist New York homicide investigators chasing a possible serial killer after four women's bodies were found dumped alongside a remote beach highway.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said in a brief statement that investigators from his department met with officials from the FBI's New York office on Wednesday. The agents offered any assistance they could provide, but an FBI spokesman said it was not immediately clear what services Long Island police would require. Dormer had previously said the FBI could be helpful in identifying the victims.

The meeting came as investigators were looking into the disappearance of two out-of-state women working as prostitutes last seen on Long Island. One of the women, a 24-year-old from New Jersey, was last seen in the area where the bodies were found, while the second, a 22-year-old from Maine, was reported missing from a hotel about 15 miles away.

None of the bodies has been identified.

Suffolk police discovered the first body on Saturday and the other three on Monday while following up on a missing persons report for the New Jersey woman. The woman, identified by Jersey City, N.J., police as Shannon Gilbert, had arranged to meet a client on May 1 on nearby Fire Island, about three miles from where the bodies were discovered.

Megan Waterman, of Scarborough, Maine, advertised her escort services on Craigslist and was last seen in June at a Hauppauge, N.Y., hotel where she went with her boyfriend. The hotel is about 15 miles from where the bodies were found. Scarborough Police Chief Robert Moulton said detectives in New York have been working with his department for months on Waterman's disappearance.

A Scarborough detective was obtaining DNA samples Wednesday from Waterman's family to send to New York for possible identification.

"There's definitely a possibility, but we're on hold at this point," Moulton said of the possibilty that one of the victims is Waterman.

The four bodies were systematically dumped, perhaps over a period of 18 months or longer, along a desolate, wind-swept stretch of highway east of Jones Beach State Park on Long Island's south shore, police said. Because the bodies were each located just off the highway and within a quarter mile of each other, police suspect the deaths are connected.

"We're looking at that - that we could have a serial killer," Dormer told reporters Tuesday. "I don't think it's a coincidence that four bodies ended up in this area."

Police were not searching along the highway, about 45 miles east of Manhattan, on Wednesday, but a spokeswoman said it was likely investigators would return there in the coming days.

Detectives believe the four were killed elsewhere and then brought to the site, a narrow strip of land that divides the Great South Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. The four-lane parkway runs through the middle, connecting Jones Beach State Park with several state and town-run beaches to its east.


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