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Suffolk Police Provide New Evidence in Gilgo Beach Murders Investigation

A new website also launched to help catch the serial killer.

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Photo: Initials found on a leather belt that is part of the evidence in the Gilgo Beach Serial Killer investigation. Courtesy SCPD.

Suffolk County Police held a press conference on Thursday to present a new key piece of evidence that might help in the search for the Gilgo Beach killer.


Reports say that the SCPD presented a black leather belt that they believe belonged to the killer. The belt has initials that could be “HM” or “WH” depending on how the belt is oriented.


Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart also presented a new website, that will inform the public on new information and encourage people to share tips with investigators. A photo of the belt is on the site, as well as background information on the investigation and images of the nine victims connected with the case.


The new evidence and launch of the website coincides with the release of a new Netflix movie about the investigation later this month. The movie is based on a book by a journalist covering the case.


On the new website Suffolk Police have released the below narrative on the background of the case:


Shannan Gilbert, a Craigslist escort, went missing from a client’s house in Oak Beach on the south shore of Long Island on May 1, 2010. During the months that followed her disappearance, canine officers incorporated training exercises into searches of the area surrounding Gilbert’s last known location. During one exercise, on December 11, 2010, a set of skeletal remains was discovered in an area near Gilgo Beach off Ocean Parkway. The remains located would later be identified as Melissa Barthelemy.


Two days after the first discovery, the remains of three other Craigslist escorts were located in close proximity to Barthelemy’s remains. The three sets of remains would later be identified as Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Megan Waterman and Amber Lynn Costello. All four women were reported missing between July 2007 and September 2010.


Courtesy:Suffolk County Police Department.


While continuing the search for Shannan Gilbert several miles east of where the four Craigslist escorts were found, a set of partial skeletal remains was found on March 29, 2011. The remains were later identified as those of Jessica Taylor, another known escort. Taylor’s partial remains were previously discovered on July 26, 2003 off Halsey Manor Road in Manorville.


Less than a week later, as part of the continuing search for Shannan Gilbert, three additional sets of remains were discovered on April 4, 2011. The first set was later determined to be those of a female whose partial remains were discovered by hunters in a wooded area off Halsey Manor Road in Manorville on November 19, 2000. Those remains remain unidentified and are known as Jane Doe #6.


Courtesy:Suffolk County Police Department.


A second set of skeletal remains discovered near Jane Doe #6 were those of an unidentified female toddler.


West of Jane Doe #6 and the infant female toddler were the skeletal remains of an unidentified Asian male.


One week later, while searching further west along Ocean Parkway in Nassau County, two additional sets of skeletonized remains were found approximately seven miles away from the discovery on April 4. One set is believed to be the mother of the toddler found a week earlier. The other set of partial remains was linked through DNA analysis to remains found in Davis Park on Fire Island in 1996.