Search for Shannan Gilbert's Remains at Long Island, NY, Shore Yields Evidence

Search is near where 10 sets of dismembered human remains have been found.

Dec. 6, 2011— -- Police searchers today recovered evidence potentially linked to Shannan Gilbert, a young woman who disappeared near the same stretch of Long Island, N.Y., beach where an apparent serial killer dumped the bodies of his victims.

Police recovered the item or items during today's search of a swampy area near the ocean beach, according to sources.

The sources did not specify what evidence was found.

A third day of searches at the Gilgo Beach Association area begins Wednesday.

Gilbert's disappearance is not believed linked to the serial killer, sources said.

Ten sets of dismembered human remains have been found in the area, believed to be the work of a single serial killer who dumped his victims bodies there.

In fact, there is a strong likelihood that Gilbert was not murdered at all, sources said, but was a victim of cold water and strong currents after possibly falling in to the water.

On the night of her disappearance, witnesses told police Gilbert did not appear to be acting rationally. She was last seen in May 2010 apparently running from someone near today's search area.

Today's search, which included putting divers in the water, was not based on any new tip, nor were any human remains found.

Warm weather and low water provided conditions that made it possible to walk through the high weeds and into the muck.

"Even with that, it was still exhausting," said one Suffolk County official involved in the effort.

The renewed effort began Monday under FBI direction and using information gleaned from past FBI flyovers with sensitive photography equipment able to see down through ground cover.

Dive team officers donned wet suits for weather protection, even though the swamp water itself often only came up to their ankles.

Canine search teams were part of the search, but the conditions were so hostile that often the handlers worked without their dogs.

Rabbit and seagull carcasses were found, but no human remains.

Based on the belief that Gilbert may have wandered into the swamp, the search will continue.