Body Found on New York Beach Is Not Missing New Jersey Escort, Police Say

Authorities say the human remains found along a remote beach highway on New York's Long Island are not those of a missing New Jersey woman who disappeared while working as a prostitute.

Suffolk County police found the remains hidden in brush along Long Island's Ocean Parkway Tuesday -- about a mile east from where the bodies of four prostitutes were discovered last year.

A police spokeswoman said Thursday that authorities determined the remains were not those of 24-year-old Shannon Gilbert, of Jersey City, N.J., who was last seen alive almost one year ago. Police say they still have not identified the remains, and an investigation into Gilbert's disappearance is continuing.

Gilbert -- last seen in May 2010 in a shorefront community nearby -- was not among the four bodies found in December. The bodies, all wrapped in burlap bags, were identified as 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes, of Norwich, Conn.; 24-year-old Melissa Barthelmey, of Bronx, New York; 27-year-old Amber Lynn Costello, of Long Island, N.Y.; and 22-year-old Megan Waterman of Maine. All four women were escorts who advertised themselves on the Craigslist website.

No suspects have been identified in the deaths of the women and police theorize a serial killer may have been responsible for the deaths.

Gilbert worked as a prostitute and arranged through Craigslist to meet a client in Oak Beach last May. A resident of the gated seaside enclave has told authorities a woman believed to be Gilbert came to his door around 4:45 a.m. on May 1, pleading for help.

The man said when he attempted to call police, the woman fled.

A few moments later, an unidentified man in a sport-utility vehicle drove past the house and said he was looking for the woman, but then took off. Neither the woman nor the man was seen by the neighbor again.

The client Gilbert had arranged to meet was investigated by police but is not believed to be a suspect in her disappearance.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said police previously had searched the area where the latest body was discovered, but he said it was difficult to maneuver through the thick underbrush along the highway.

"It's a rugged area, thick with brush. It is possible to miss something," Dormer said.

Police have made routine checks of the area since December and want to scour the area before the foliage starts growing in.

Dormer said investigators would return en masse to the area early next week and another thorough search would be conducted. Several miles of the highway were closed to traffic on Wednesday as investigators combed the area for clues.

The four prostitutes whose bodies were found in December share some similarities with Gilbert. Each was in her 20s, posted her services as an escort on Craigslist and was last seen heading to meet a client.'s Cristina Corbin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.