Another piece of evidence has been found in a decade-long open investigation of a serial killer case on Long Island, New York. The infamous Long Island Serial Killer has shocked and horrified the masses since 2010 when a cadaver dog found a body at Gilgo Beach during a search for missing New Jersey sex worker Shannan Gilbert. Since then, the killer was named in 11 murders, most of them being young women. Now, new evidence brings us the first public insight into the case that sparked it’s own Netflix film and brings police one step closer to discovering and tracking down the serial murderer at-large.
On Thursday, Police from Suffolk County released a photograph of a black leather belt with the letters WH or HM imprinted on it. The leather belt, which was found at a crime scene, police believe is linked to the murder investigation.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart discussed the new evidence at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, saying it didn’t belong to any of the victims. The initials written on the belt likely belong to the perpetrator. The police commissioner said that the belt was found “at the initial stage of the investigation” along Ocean Parkway on Long Island.
Solving the case has been a top priority for investigators at the precinct, but has been an especially difficult one to crack. “We are hopeful that this photograph will bring somebody forward with information about the origin of that article,” Hart said.
This is the first evidence brought forward in years, since the serial killer who is believed to have murdered up to 16 people over a period of almost two decades. Of those, at least eight identified bodies belonged to women — and most of them were fairly young, too.
Authorities have confirmed that at least four of the 10 bodies unearthed since then are linked, and that the killer has been using the area as a kind of dumping ground. All of the women’s remains found on the beach have been wrapped in burlap and placed within about 500 feet of one another.
Since the case was first opened, the four remains were identified as Amber Costello, Megan Waterman (pictured above, right), Maureen Brainard-Barnes (pictured above, left), and Melissa Barthelemy. In an even more sinister twist, all four women were linked together because they worked as escorts. They were all reported missing between 2007 and 2010, too.
Last month, Police Chief Stuart Cameron told People that a case of this magnitude will take ample time to solve. “It’s a priority for the police department, always has been a priority for the police department to solve this case. It’s really an unprecedented case in Suffolk County history. So we’re going to continue to put our attention on it and with the intent to solve the case. We would pursue everything to solve this case,” he said, adding, “I do believe in my heart that we’ll solve the case.”
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