The mystery surrounding the Long Island murder spree has been making national headlines for years and is the subject of the 2020 Netflix movie The Lost Girls.
NEW YORK — A suspect has been taken into custody on New York’s Long Island in connection with a long-unsolved series of murders known as the Gilgo Beach murders, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Friday.
The case has attracted huge public attention since human remains were found along a highway in New York more than a decade ago. The mystery has been making national headlines for years, with unsolved murders being the subject of the 2020 Netflix movie The Lost Girls.
The suspect was taken into custody in Massapequa late Thursday evening, and investigators were at a house associated with the case on Friday, the official said. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the details of the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
The deaths of 11 people whose remains were discovered in 2010 and 2011 have long baffled investigators. Most of the victims were young female sex workers. Several bodies were found near the town of Gilgo Beach.
Finding out who killed them and why has antagonized many seasoned homicide detectives due to several changes in police leadership. Last year, an interagency task force was formed to solve the case, including investigators from the FBI, as well as state and local police departments.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said the formation of a task force in Gilgo Beach represents a renewed commitment to investigating unsolved murders, mostly of young women, whose skeletal remains were found along a Long Island highway.
“We are happy to see that they are finally active, the police, in achieving something. Let’s wait and see where all this leads,” said John Ray, an attorney for the families of the two victims, Shannan Gilbert and Jessica Taylor.
Gilbert’s disappearance in 2010 sparked a manhunt that revealed a big mystery. A 24-year-old sex worker, she disappeared after walking out of a client’s home in the seaside community of Oak Beach, disappearing into a swamp.
Months later, a police officer and his cadaver dog were searching for her body in the brush at nearby Ocean Parkway when they came across the remains of another woman. Within days, three more bodies were found, all within walking distance of each other.
By the spring of 2011, that number had risen to 10 sets of human remains – eight women, one man and one baby. Some of these were later linked to dismembered body parts found elsewhere on Long Island, leading to a mysterious crime scene that stretched from a park near the New York City border to a resort community on Fire Island and into the far east of Long Island. Island.
Gilbert’s body was found in December 2011, about 3 miles (5 km) east of where the other 10 sets were found.
Speaking of the bodies near Gilgo Beach, investigators have said several times over the years that it is unlikely that one person killed all the victims.
News of the suspect’s arrest comes a day after state police responded to reports of skeletal remains found in a wooded area off South State Parkway in Islip. Police scheduled a briefing near the scene on Friday afternoon. It was not immediately clear whether these remains were connected to the Gilgo Beach case.
Balsamo reported from Washington. Associated Press employees include Jennifer Peltz of New York and Sarah Brumfield of Silver Spring, Maryland.