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Long Island bodies mystery deepens; police release new details

September 21, 2011 |  7:13 am

Jane doe 6 
The murder mystery has haunted the New York area since December, and it seems no closer to being solved now than when it materialized with the discovery of human remains along an oceanfront parkway of Long Island. Who killed 10 people found in varying states of decomposition in the area, and who are the victims?

So far, just five of the dead have been identified, and on Tuesday, investigators held a news conference aimed at triggering fresh information to help break the case. They released composite sketches of two unidentified victims, showed pictures of jewelry found with two others, and said that remains uncovered in April from a woman have been linked to separate remains discovered 15 years ago on a beach a few miles away.

The Suffolk County police commissioner, Richard Dormer, also said the remains of a baby girl, estimated to have been 16 months to 32 months old, had been linked by DNA testing to an unidentified adult female discovered several miles away. "Although we cannot definitively say, it is likely these two individuals are mother and child," Dormer told reporters as pictures of gold earrings and bracelets found with the woman and baby were displayed.

Police also showed off pictures of the sole male victim discovered -- a young Asian man who was wearing women's clothing when his body was found -- and a young white woman known as Jane Doe 6.

"If somebody will recognize somebody, that will be a break in the case," said Dormer, insisting that police were making progress despite the passage of time. "This is not a television show where everything is solved in an hour," he said.

Police suspect that because the victims identified so far were prostitutes, the information to break the case could come from someone involved in the illegal escort business. Dormer urged them to come forward if they had information and said they would not be targeted for prosecution.

As this Los Angeles Times story explains, police first found remains in the area in December, several months after a prostitute named Shannan Gilbert vanished among the dunes and beach grass about 40 miles from New York City. They found more than they expected in the search -- arms, legs, torsos and other remains, scattered for miles and believed to have been brought there by more than one killer.

But none of the bodies has been identified as Gilbert, 24, whose whereabouts remain a mystery.

-- Tina Susman in New York

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Photos: Sketches show an unidentified woman, whose body was one of 10 found on Long Island since December. Credit: Reuters / Courtesy of Suffolk County Police / Handout.

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