Search Resumes for Bodies in L.I. - NBC New York

Search Resumes for Bodies in L.I.

Divers wrap up search for the day, will return to Oak Beach next week.



    See raw video of police divers searching the water near Hemlock Cove for more victims of a possible serial killer. Ten sets of human remains have been found nearby in the last few months. (Published Wednesday, April 13, 2011)

    Investigators have returned to the 15-mile-long barrier island for a search of possible serial killer victims.

    Divers were back in the waters at Hemlock Cove for a third day, while Suffolk County police and FBI were searching along Ocean Parkway near Cedar Beach. Divers wrapped up their search just after 12 p.m. Friday.

    An FBI Black Hawk helicopter had been scheduled to take to the air, using special aerial technology to seek remains and evidence, over Ocean Parkway, but the launch was delayed due to a technical issue. It wasn't immediately clear whether it would launch at all today.

    No significant finds have been made after three days, Suffolk Police Chief of Detectives Dominick Varrone told NBC New York.

    Ten sets of remains have been found in the area since last December. The first four, all women who worked as sex workers, are believed to be the work of the same serial killer. The other six have been found in recent weeks, two in Nassau County.

    Police have said they are not certain the remains are all victims of the same killer.

    Police launched the initial search to find Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old Jersey City sex worker who was reported missing after a rendezvous on Oak Beach. She was last seen May 1 and has still not been found. Diving will resume next week near where Gilbert was last seen, officials said.

    Meanwhile, a law enforcement official familiar with the ongoing probe said Thursday that authorities searched a computer belonging to a pimp linked to one of the dead prostitutes, hoping a record of her liaisons could lead them to a possible serial killer.

    The FBI examined the laptop of the pimp, Brooklyn resident Akeem Cruz, for a record of Megan Waterman's customers, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

    Cruz is not considered a suspect in the disappearance of Waterman and three other prostitutes who bodies were found strewn last December near the side of a remote highway leading to Long Island's Jones Beach, the official said.

    Cruz' attorney, Robert Neapolitan, didn't immediately return a telephone message. He said earlier this week that his client — currently imprisoned in Maine for a cocaine conviction — would have granted permission for a search of his computer. Neapolitan said his client has cooperated with investigators.

    The U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn declined to comment on the investigation into Cruz's computer.

    Authorities say Cruz was one of the last people seen with Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, Maine, last June when she disappeared after traveling to a hotel in Hauppauge, N.Y., to meet clients for sex. In addition to the computer search, investigators have questioned hotel guests who stayed at the Holiday Inn Express at the same time Waterman was there.