The decomposing remains of four people, at least two of them women, have been discovered along a New York beach and police are combing the area for more bodies in what they fear may be the victims of a serial killer's murderous spree.
"Four bodies found in the same location pretty much speaks for itself. It's more than a coincidence. We could have a serial killer," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer told ABC News today.
Dormer said investigators have talked to an alleged pimp who he said was a person of interest in the disappearance of a prostitute in that area earlier this year. It's not yet clear whether that woman's body was among the skeletal remains found in recent days.
The bodies appear to have been thrown from a vehicle into a remote and windswept area of thick brush near a Long Island beach Dormer said.
"They weren't buried, and were in different stages of decomposition. Obviously some were there for some time," he said.
At least some of the bodies were wrapped in burlap sacks. The bodies were spaced approximately 500 yards from each other, and two appeared to be female Dormer said. The other two remains were too badly decomposed to determine the sex.
He said it could take weeks or months to identify the victims.
The first body was discovered Saturday when Suffolk County police announced they had discovered human remains on Gilgo Beach. The body was found during a training exercise. The officers chose that spot to search because a woman was reported missing near there last May.
"Periodically a detective in the missing person's unit would respond to the area where the woman was last seen to search, as part of a training exercise," Dormer said.
"The body was found 3.5 miles from where the woman was last seen," Dormer said.
According to police, that missing person was Jersey City resident Shonnan Gilbert, a 24-year-old woman alleged to have been a prostitute.
Gilbert was last reported alive on May 1, and that she had allegedly arraigned through Craigslist to meet a client on Fire Island, a tony community about a mile from Gilgo Beach, Dormer said.
The chief said Gilbert was accompanied by a pimp on her trip, a man who was a person of interest in her missing person's case. He did not identify the alleged pimp.
"She was a prostitute working off Craigslist and accompanied by a pimp. We located the pimp originally, spoke to him and got some information from him. It's still all part of this investigation," Dormer said.
Police discovered three more bodies Monday and today were expanding the area to be searched in case there are additional bodies dumped along the beach.
Although officials said it may take weeks to identify the bodies, invesitgators said it is likely that Gilbert's remains are among those discovered.
"Common sense tells us it's not a coincidence," Suffolk County Det. Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky told WABC .
During a news conference today, police said it appeared as though the bodies may be been dumped over the last year and a half.