Shannan Gilbert's Cause of Death "Undetermined," According to Medical Examiner's Office

Gilbert's remains were found in December near where she went missing in May of 2010

Tuesday, May 1, 2012  |  Updated 8:56 PM EDT
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The Suffolk County medical examiner has classified the death of the woman whose remains were found in a deserted Long Island beachfront marsh last December as

NBC New York

The Suffolk County medical examiner has classified the death of the woman whose remains were found in a deserted Long Island beachfront marsh last December as "undetermined." News 4's Greg Cergol talked to the victim's family.

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The Suffolk County medical examiner has classified the death of the woman whose remains were found in a deserted Long Island beachfront marsh last December as "undetermined."

The Suffolk County Homicide Squad is still investigating the circumstances surrounding Shannan Gilbert's death, said Acting Police Commissioner Edward Webber.

Gilbert was last seen screaming and running from a home in the Oak Beach complex where she met a client for sex on May 1, 2010.

A search for Gilbert In December 2010 led to what would become the discovery of 10 sets of human remains, mostly belonging to female sex workers, strewn along several miles of thicket adjacent to Ocean Parkway, near where Gilbert disappeared.

Police discovered Gilbert's remains in an Oak Beach marshland in December 2011 after officials ramped up their search as the anniversary of the first discovery approached.

Investigators believe a possible serial killer — perhaps more than one — is responsible for 10 of the bodies. Police and prosecutors have said that they don't think Gilbert was an 11th victim; they think she accidentally drowned.

Gilbert's family's laywer John Ray reiterated Tuesday that the family has never believed Gilbert drowned. He said the medical examiner told them two neck bones were missing from her remains, raising questions about what happened to her.

Gilbert's mother, Mari, has said she believes her daughter was among the serial killer victims and has called for a federal investigation into Suffolk's handling of her case.

Gilbert's family says she was frightened from the house by something or someone and ran in an effort to flee her alleged killer. Gilbert placed a frantic 23-minute call to 911 that began while she was still inside the house.

During the call, she told the operator, "They're trying to kill me," her sister has said.

No suspects have been named in her disappearance, nor in connection with the serial killer investigation.

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