Body linked to US serial killer case

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The Independent US

After a year-long search, police investigators in New York announced yesterday that they believe they have discovered the skeletal remains of a prostitute who vanished last December after fleeing a client's home in a panic – one of several deaths police believe may be linked to a serial killer.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said searchers found the bones yesterday morning in a dense wetland thicket, not far from where Shannan Gilbert disappeared. Authorities believe it is Gilbert's corpse.

Police began searching for the 24-year-old woman last December when they came upon the first of what would become 10 murder victims' remains. They were strewn along several miles of thicket along a parkway leading to Jones Beach. Police believe a serial killer is responsible for those deaths. They think Gilbert may have drowned accidentally while fleeing a client's home for an unclear reason.

Commissioner Dormer said the location of the skeleton suggests Gilbert may have been trying to flee across the wetland to a causeway. He suggested that she had become hopelessly entangled in the brush, which he called a "tough, desolate, tangled mess".

Relatives of others whose bodies were found along a nearby beach highway held a vigil yesterday to mark the anniversary of when their loves ones' remains were found.

Police were following up on Gilbert's disappearance when they found remains in December last year. Two days later, three more bodies were found. By April, the total had risen to 10.