Maine Escort's Body Among Those Discovered on L.I. Beach

Suffolk police chief says 22-year-old's death described as a "homicide"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    New developments emerge in the investigation into who dumped four female bodies on a desolate stretch of Long Island beach. Former FBI profiler Clint van Zandt explains the case. (Published Thursday, Dec 16, 2010)

    The remains of a Maine woman who was reported missing from Long Island last year have been identified among four found on a Suffolk County beach, her mother said Wednesday.

    Lorraine Ela told The Associated Press on Wednesday that police notified her son about Megan Waterman's body being among those dumped on Eastern Long Island. The Suffolk County police commissioner and district attorney confirmed Waterman's ID.     

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    Chopper 4 captures police on video as they search with cadaver dogs for clues as to the identities of the bodies found on a remote Long Island beach. (Published Thursday, Dec 16, 2010)

    Waterman's cause of death was described as "homicide" by Suffolk police commissioner Richard Dormer; but, neither he nor district attorney Thomas Spota would say specifically how she was killed.

    "We are close to identifying the other three bodies," added Spota, of the other remains discovered near Gilgo Beach last December. 

    Other families of missing persons have supplied investigators with medical, dental and personal records as well as DNA to aid in the identification process, according to DA Spota.

    Investigators would not identify any suspect in Waterman's death and bristled at questions about whether they believe a serial killer is responsible.

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    Four bodies have been unearthed since Saturday, and police continue to comb Suffolk?s Gilgo Beach for answers. The discovery stemmed from a search for Shannon Gilbert, a missing Jersey City prostitute. Police have yet to identify the remains or match them to the missing woman. One lead has cropped up from the personals section of Craigslist. Gilbert went missing in May after answering an ad from a man on Fire Island, about three miles from the area where the bodies were found. John Noel brings us more on the story from Suffolk. (Published Tuesday, Dec 14, 2010)

    "We will continue working day and night to determine what happened," said Dormer.

    Waterman, who advertised her escort services on the online classifieds site Craigslist, was last seen in early June at a Hauppauge, N.Y., hotel where she went with her boyfriend. The hotel is about 15 miles from where the bodies were found in December.     

    Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer and Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota were to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon.    

    Family members became worried about Waterman after not hearing from her during a trip to New York in early June, her mother told the AP at the time the bodies were discovered. Waterman always called three times a day to speak to her 4-year-old daughter, Liliana, but the last call came on the night of June 5, she said.

    When police searched the hotel room they found Waterman's clothing, makeup, cell phone and other belongings, Ela said.

    Police accidentally discovered the bodies in December. Detectives believe the four were killed elsewhere and then taken to the site, a narrow strip of land that divides the Great South Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. The four-lane parkway runs through the middle, connecting Jones Beach State Park with several state- and town-run beaches to its east.

    Investigators had been looking into the disappearance of both Waterman and a missing prostitute from New Jersey named Shannon Gilbert,  who was last seen on May 1. Police have said Gilbert's body was not been found among those dumped at the beach.