Still no answers for Shannan Gilbert's family

May 30, 2012 12:24:46 PM PDT
Two years to the day Shannan Gilbert vanished on Long Island, her family met with the medical examiner to get some answers, but they left disappointed.

Months after Gilbert's remains were found, they still don't have a cause of death, or answers to whether her case is linked to the other murders in Gilgo Beach and Oak Beach.

On Tuesday afternoon, on the second anniversary of Shannan's disappearance, her family met with the Suffolk County Medical Examiner and three homicide detectives.

"I was optimistic when I first walked in, but now I'm more frustrated and angry than ever," Mari Gilbert, Shannan's mother, said.

It's now been nearly five months since police finally unearthed the skeletal remains of Shannan Gilbert. The medical examiner told her family that autopsy results are inconclusive, offering no evidence Gilbert was the victim of murder.

"We can't accept and never will accept that this woman died by accident," attorney John Ray said.

Gilbert, an escort, vanished on May 1, 2010 after calling 911 saying someone was trying to kill her. Months later, investigators found the first of 10 other bodies in the area. They were victims, officials say, of at least one serial killer.

Still, when they found Gilbert, authorities explained her death as a coincidence, that she was delusional and chased only by her own demons as she ran into marsh, and possibly drowned.

The family's attorney says the skeleton was not intact.

"The two missing bones are the bones of your neck," Ray said.

Proving, he says, Gilbert might have been strangled, her body mutilated to destroy the evidence.

"Everyone's saying, from the authorities, we don't know what happened? Any common person knows what happened. And all that needs to be done is find the person who did it," Ray said.

"No matter what it takes I'm going to keep fighting for my daughter and my family until the truth comes out, no matter what it takes," Mari Gilbert said.

The remains of 10 people - eight women, a man and a baby - were found strewn mostly along a remote beach parkway, but some body parts from those victims also were found on eastern Long Island and nearly 50 miles away on Fire Island. Police have identified only five of the 10 victims. Those five were all women working as escorts. The oldest remains are linked to a case 15 years ago.

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