GILGO BEACH, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Suffolk County Police on Thursday announced a “significant piece of evidence” had been discovered in the ongoing Gilgo Beach serial killer case.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports, it’s been several years since there have been any updates in the case that shocked the quiet Long Island community, but with new evidence and the use of a new scientific technique, authorities hope to have made a break in the cold case.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart on Thursday revealed that a black leather belt had been discovered along Ocean Beach. They believe the clothing item possibly belonged to the suspected serial killer.
“A black, leather belt embossed with the letter H-M, or W-H, was recovered during the initial stages of this investigation,” Commissioner Hart said. “We believe the belt was handled by the suspect and did not belong to any of the victims.”
Authorities have released images of the belt in the hope that the public will be able to help investigators discover the origins of the item.
“We are optimistic that scientific advances will also bring new information to light,” Hart added.
In 2019, authorities said they would use genetic geology – or the use of running genetic profiles through databases – to find relatives of the victims or suspect(s), according to Hall. The “Golden State Killer” was captured using such technology.
The remains of 10 people were found along Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach and four sets of remains, including those of a female toddler and an adult male, remain unidentified.
The body of the toddler, 18-24 months old, was found wrapped in a blanket along the highway. The circumstances of her death remains unclear. Authorities had said it appears the toddler and one of the unidentified women, who was found seven miles away in Nassau County, are related.
Some of the remains date back to 1995 and investigators have previously said all of the victims, including the child, are somehow connected to the sex trade.
Even though the remains of the first person, Shannan Gilbert, were discovered nearly a decade ago, many people on Long Island still talk about the Gilgo Beach case and wonder who committed the gruesome crimes and if anyone will ever be arrested, Hall reported.
The investigation began as a hunt for Gilbert, a missing New Jersey escort who was last seen running in terror into the night from some unseen danger in Oak Beach on May 1, 2010.
While searching for Gilbert, police unearthed the remains of four other women – all in their 20s – that December. They were all prostitutes listed on Craigslist.