Mom, daughter may be among 10 bodies found near New York beach

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 20, 2011 4:44 PM
Mom, daughter may be among 10 bodies found near New York beach

By Aman Ali

YAPHANK, New York (Reuters) - Police investigating 10 bodies dumped by a possible serial killer near a Long Island beach said on Tuesday two of the victims may be a mother and her toddler daughter.

Police suspect some of the remains, found near New York's Gilgo beach since December, belong to victims of at least one serial killer preying on prostitutes who sought clients on the Internet, including on Craigslist.

Police said on Tuesday the remains were identified as eight women, one man and a toddler girl.

Two of the bodies might be a mother and daughter, based in part on similar style costume jewelry on both bodies, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said.

The child was found with hoop earrings and a rope necklace and the mother wore two bracelets. The toddler, whose body was found wrapped in a blanket, was described as a "non-Caucasian" girl, age 16 to 32 months.

"Although we cannot definitively say, it is likely that these two individuals are mother and child," he said.

Police have not found any human remains since April, and so far no arrests have been made in the case. Dormer emphasized police have been making progress on the case.

"It's a slow, methodical process," he said. "This is not a television show where everything is solved in an hour. This takes hours of detective work and forensic work."

Police said two more victims, the man and a woman, were believed to have worked as escorts, bringing to seven the number of prostitutes whose remains were found near the beach, police said.

Five of the bodies found near Gilgo Beach since December 2010 had already been positively identified as prostitutes who advertised on Craigslist.

"Based on what we know about the other victims, (we) consider that this woman may have been working as a prostitute in New York City at that time," Dormer said.

He described her as age 18 to 35, possibly with a tattoo on her right ankle and apparently killed in 2000.

The man, Asian and age 17 to 23, was dressed in women's clothing and lost teeth as a result of decay. Police believed he died a violent death at least 5 years ago.

Police also released composite sketches of what the two may have looked like before their deaths, based on months of forensic tests tied to recovered limbs, skulls and other scattered body parts.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Cynthia Johnston)