Shannan Gilbert Mother Says She's "Angry" at Police

Mari Gilbert says she feels shut out of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The mother of missing sex worker Shannan Gilbert says she's angry she wasn't contacted about the new search Tuesday. (Published Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011)

    When police returned Tuesday to the Oak Beach area of Long Island where sex worker Shannan Gilbert was last seen, Gilbert's mother felt like she was the last to know -- and it wasn't even through police, she said.

    "I'm very angry," said Mari Gilbert, who described feeling ambushed by news of the search when she turned on the television Tuesday.

    Items Found in Oak Beach Marsh

    [NY] Items Found in Oak Beach Marsh
    Police have discovered new items in the area where missing woman Shannan Gilbert was last seen. NBC New York has exclusive video of investigators combing through a marsh in Oak Beach Tuesday. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011)

    "I would like to be notified if they're going to search. I would like to be notified if they find something," she said. "To hear from outsiders what's going on with my own daughter's case, it's hurtful. Let me and my family prepare ourselves."

    Mari Gilbert said detectives have not called her to inform her of any news, and that the last time police contacted her was in June.

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    Families of three victims gather on Gilgo Beach to hold a vigil for their loved ones. (Published Saturday, Jun 11, 2011)

    She added, "More lives could have been saved if they would have taken Shannan's case more seriously, if they would have looked for her sooner."

    Despite her frustrations, Mari Gilbert said she has always believed police would one day find out what happened to her daughter, even when it seemed the trail had run cold. Tuesday's search has given her a renewed sense of hope that the truth is near.

    "I know someone saw something, I know someone heard something," she said.

    The search turned up some new items, including clothing, but police have not said whether they were being considered evidence in their investigation into Shannan Gilbert's disappearance.

    Suffolk County police inspector Stuart Cameron said at a press conference late Tuesday afternoon the new search was "just a result of us wanting to re-search an area within which she was last seen."

    "Today's conditions are more favorable than when we searched it in the past, because some of the areas were not underwater today as they were in the past," he added.

    Mari Gilbert believes her daughter was murdered -- and she has a message for the alleged killer.

    "You're gonna get caught, and we're gonna find you, and we're not going to give up, and we're not going to stop until we stop you," she said.

    Mari Gilbert said Shannan is the reason police found the other 10 victims. Now she hopes that the search for Shannan will also help police bring a Gilgo Beach serial killer to justice.