Authorities searched a computer belonging to a pimp linked to a dead prostitute found along a beach highway on New York's Long Island, hoping a record of her liaisons could lead them to a possible serial killer, a law enforcement official familiar with the probe told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The FBI examined the laptop of the pimp, New York City resident Akeem Cruz, for a record of Megan Waterman's customers, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Cruz, of Brooklyn, is not considered a suspect in the disappearance of Waterman and three other prostitutes who bodies were found strewn last December near the side of a remote highway leading to Long Island's Jones Beach, the official said.
Cruz' attorney, Robert Napolitano, didn't immediately return a telephone message on Wednesday. He said earlier this week that his client _ currently imprisoned in Maine for a cocaine conviction _ would have granted permission for a search of his computer. Napolitano said his client has cooperated with investigators.
The U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn declined to comment on the investigation into Cruz's computer.
Authorities say Cruz was one of the last people seen with Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, Maine, last June when she disappeared after traveling to a hotel in Hauppauge, N.Y., to meet clients for sex. In addition to the computer search, investigators have questioned hotel guests who stayed at the Holiday Inn Express at the same time Waterman was there.
Authorities believe a serial killer may be responsible for the deaths of Waterman and three other women in their 20s, whose bodies were found near hers. Police have not identified any suspects.
Police have since turned up six other sets of remains along the highway in recent weeks but have not definitively linked any of them to the deaths of the four prostitutes. The recent discoveries have prompted a wide-scale search along a 15-mile stretch of the highway.
An aerial and ground search on Thursday did not turn up any additional remains.
Hays reported from New York City.