Police: Shannan Gilbert's mom stabbed; Daughter found covered in blood

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Tim Fleischer has the story.

Ellenville police on Monday released more details about the murder of Mari Gilbert, whose became well known after the disappearance of her daughter Shannan Gilbert led to the discovery of 11 sets of human remains on Long Island's Gilgo Beach.

"It's just a shocking," friend Debra Morvillo said. "It's very upsetting."

The body of Mari Gilbert, 52, was found around 2:15 p.m. Saturday inside an apartment in the Catskills, police said.

Mari Gilbert was concerned about her daughter, according to a family attorney, and had checked on her early Saturday at the apartment. Another daughter, Sherre, became concerned and called police. Officers responded and reportedly saw Mari's body through the window.

When they went inside, they found Mari dead from multiple stab wounds. Authorities say her daughter, 27-year-old Sarra Elizabeth Gilbert, who is now charged, was in the kitchen covered in blood. A knife was recovered at the scene.

"Ms. Gilbert had blood on her clothing, and she was detained by police at the scene," Ellenville Police Chief Phillip Mattracion said. "It's certainly unfortunate that (Mari) had to go through what she went through."

Mari Gilbert's third daughter, Shannan, was a sex worker who disappeared after visiting a client in Oak Beach in May 2010. In December of that year, her remains were discovered in nearby Gilgo Beach along with 10 other sets of human remains.

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

No one have ever been arrested in any of the Gilgo Beach killings, but investigators believe a possible serial killer - perhaps more than one - is responsible. A K-9 officer and his cadaver dog were on a training mission searching for Gilbert in December 2010 when they happened upon human remains found strewn along several miles of thicket adjacent to Ocean Parkway, just east of Jones Beach.

"She was on TV all the time trying to find out who did that to her daughter," Morvillo said. "If they didn't find the daughter, they wouldn't have found the rest."

But attorney John Ray says that recently, Sarra Gilbert was the focus of her mother's attention.

"Because Sarra had been acting in irrational ways, and she had actually been hearing voices," he said. "And these voices were telling her what to do."

Ray said Sarra has been hospitalized for her psychiatric condition and that Mari was concerned about her. She had also been charged several months ago with drowning her dog, and Ray said she had lived on and off with her mother.

"Even took custody of her daughter's child," he said. "And to have her own daughter kill her because of her mental disease, that's truly a tragedy."

Sarra Gilbert is charged with second-degree murder and is due back in court Tuesday.

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serial killerEllenville
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