Gilgo Beach Homicide Task Force expanding to other unsolved cases on Long Island

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, May 10, 2024
Gilgo Beach Homicide Task Force expanding to other unsolved cases
Darla Miles has the story on the task force.

SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- The task force credited with cracking the Gilgo Beach murder case is now taking on new work.

The Suffolk County district attorney now says the Homicide Task Force is taking a fresh look at other unsolved cases involving human remains found throughout the county.

Since 2022, the Gilgo Beach Homicide Task Force has used New York State, local, and federal enforcement agencies to try and solve the cases of 10 bodies found along Ocean Parkway on Long Island.

The task force was key in the arrest of Rex Heuermann, who was charged with the murder of four of the victims found on Gilgo Beach.

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said the task force will begin looking at other unsolved cases involving human remains -- not just the ones on Gilgo Beach.

Searches by the task force last month appeared to focus on an area in North Sea in Southampton where 28-year-old Sandra Costilla was discovered dead in November 1993.

John Bittrolff is long suspected, but never charged, in her death. Bittrolff was convicted in 2017 in the murders of two other women, whose bodies were found in 1993 and 1994 in East Patchogue and Shirley.

The deaths linked to Bittrolff have no apparent connection to Heuermann and the exhaustive search had nothing to do with the Gilgo Beach murders other than the methodology used to solve the decades-long cold case.

"When the arrest was made on Heuermann, the Gilgo Four, you immediately look at the other remains that were found, those other ladies," ABC News contributor Robert Boyce said. "You go from partnerships into the task forces and what do the task forces bring, experience, investigative tools, data systems that not everyone shares and that's the key here."

Bittrolff is already serving 50 years to life in prison.

WATCH | ABC News contributor Robert Boyce joined the Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10 team to explain:

The Mornings @ 10 team talks with Robert Boyce about the task force.


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