An FBI helicopter using high-tech imaging equipment returned to the skies Monday in the continued search for human remains along a remote stretch of Long Island beach.
The federal Black Hawk helicopter scoured the terrain along Oak Beach and Cedar Beach from above for hours Monday morning and completed its search at about 1 p.m., at which point the westbound lanes of Ocean Parkway, having been closed during the aerial probe, reopened.
Nassau and Suffolk police departments said Sunday that until they learned what, if anything, the FBI saw from the air, they would hold off on further searches along the 15-mile barrier island that's been exposed as a dumping ground for one or more killers, reports Newsday.
Ten sets of human remains have been discovered scattered across the area since late last year. Four of the sets of skeletal remains, all identified as sex workers who posted ads on Craigslist, were found wrapped in burlap sacks in December.
The other grisly findings have been made in the last few weeks. None of those sets of remains has been publicly identified.
The initial gruesome discoveries were made as police launched a search for 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert, a prostitute from Jersey City who vanished after apparently meeting a client on Oak Beach. She was last seen May 1 and has still not been found.
Last week, Suffolk police conducted two dives at Hemlock Cove near the area where Gilbert was last seen. The dives did not turn up any additional evidence connected to the ongoing investigation.
Police have said they believe a serial killer is responsible for the deaths of the four women whose skeletal remains were found in December. Those victims all died as a result of asphyxiation, the medical examiner's office has said.
At least one of the more recently discovered six sets of remains is that of a child, officials said. Another set of remains is that of a man, and one is a woman. No further details about their identities or their causes of death has been released.