A new Long Island police chief has pledged to finally bring the case over the infamous Gilgo Beach murders that have gone unresolved for more than a decade.
New Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison told reporters on Friday he “would not rest” until the killer or killers responsible for the murder of at least 10 people are brought to justice.
“I want to make a commitment to the people of Suffolk County as well as family members,” said Mr. Harrison, a former NYPD chief, during his first press briefing in his new role on Long Beach. Island at the center of the murders.
“We will not rest until we bring those responsible to justice.”
He added: âThere is a commitment, a relentless pursuit to identify individuals and bring them to justice.
âIt’s up to family members to hear, to let them know that we won’t rest, and we’ll be sure to do whatever we need to do to hold them accountable. “
The Gilgo Beach murders have long baffled Suffolk County law enforcement officials, who believe it could have been the work of one or more serial killers who targeted sex workers and dumped their bodies along the secluded beaches of Ocean Parkway.
The case began in May 2010 when Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker, went missing after walking out of a client’s home near Gilgo Beach.
She called 911 for help saying she feared for her life and had never been seen alive again.
During a search for Ms Gilbert in a dense thicket near the beach, police discovered the remains of another woman.
Within days, the remains of three other victims were found nearby.
As of spring 2011, the remains of a total of 10 victims had been found, including eight women, a man and a toddler.
Ms Gilbert’s body was found in December 2011. The cause of her death is widely disputed, with authorities saying she is not linked to the serial killer (s), but that she died from accidental drowning while ‘she was fleeing the client’s home.
However, an independent autopsy ordered by her family concluded that she had died from strangulation and her mother believes she was murdered.
Like Ms. Gilbert, most of the victims targeted were sex workers.
Four victims have still not been identified more than 10 years after the discovery of their bodies.
Several theories have been put forward over the years, but no one has ever been charged with these murders.
Authorities have previously said they believe three separate serial killers may be responsible for the murders over a period of around 20 years.
Mr Harrison said he met with key officials involved in the investigation and visited the site where the remains were found.
The newly appointed commissioner said that with “fresh eyes” he was convinced he could get the cold case “across the finish line”.
“From what I have seen so far, there are some good leads which put us in an excellent position to resolve this matter,” he said.
âWe’re getting there, but there is still work to be done to cross the finish line. “
The new commissioner said he was ready to publish 911 calls related to the case as long as it didn’t hamper the investigation – something Ms Gilbert’s family have called for years.
The Gilbert’s attorney, John Ray, said CBS2 that the family would like the 911 call to be made public.
âThey are the key to the continuation of the investigation. I think the audience will also be a little outraged and shocked by what they hear, âhe said.