- Image 1 of 2
- Image 2 of 2
Authorities are working to identify human remains found on a Long Island barrier beach where the bodies of four online escorts were discovered late last year, police sources tell FoxNews.com.
A Suffolk County police spokeswoman said the remains were found Tuesday east of the area where the original remains were discovered during a day-long search of the area using helicopters and dogs.
The remains found Tuesday “have been there for some time,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said.
Investigators from Suffolk County were searching the area Tuesday for 24-year-old Shannon Gilbert of New Jersey, who was last seen in May 2010 in a shorefront community nearby.
Gilbert was not among the four bodies found on a Long Island beach 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.
Police theorize a serial killer may have been responsible for the deaths. Dormer said there is "no definitive link" to the deaths of the prostitutes and the latest discovery. He declined to even identify the latest victim by gender, saying he preferred to allow the medical examiner to make that determination.
Dormer said Gilbert's family has provided DNA samples for comparison, which he said should expedite the process of identifying or eliminating her as the victim.
Gilbert, a 24-year-old Jersey City, N.J., woman, 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.
Dormer said police previously had searched the area where the latest body was discovered, but he noted 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," he 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.
FoxNews.com's Cristina Corbin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.