Dormer: Purse with Shannan Gilbert's ID found
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer announced this afternoon that a purse containing missing New Jersey prostitute Shannan Gilbert's ID was found during the search of Oak Beach, and that they believe she wasn't murdered, but drowned.
The area that police scoured yesterday and today is a marshland north of the Oak Beach gated community where Gilbert was last seen May 1, 2010.
Dormer says using an amphibious ditcher, police found a pair of jeans, shoes and a cell phone near the pocketbook. Police believe those items also belong to Gilbert and that her remains may be nearby.
The police commissioner added that when the area was searched earlier, it was flooded, preventing K-9 dogs from picking up a scent.
Dormer says the homicide task force has been in touch with Gilbert's mother, Mari, and updated her with the new information. Mari Gilbert told News 12 Long Island that authorities were "emphatic" that the purse belonged to her daughter.
According to Dormer, it's likely that Gilbert wasn't murdered, but rather ran in a state of panic into the waterlogged terrain and drowned.
It has been nearly one year since the first of the 10 bodies was found along Ocean Parkway. Police believe that one serial killer is responsible and has been using the area as a dumping ground for more than 15 years.
Police say the search of the area will resume tomorrow morning. For more on today's Suffolk County police press conference, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select 'iO Extra.'
Sources: Pocketbook found during Oak Beach searchSuffolk police: No new finds in latest Gilgo searchINTERVIEW: Forensic psychologist on Ocean Parkway investigationCops: We believe Shannan Gilbert's body may be near GilgoPolice: Shannan Gilbert's body may be at Gilgo BeachCops: 1 killer is behind Gilgo murders, probably a LIerNews 12 LI coverage: Bodies found near Ocean Parkway