Shannan Gilbert: Remains found in Long Island – Mother killed by other daughter

Shannon Gilbert

July 2016 – I have just found out that Mari Gilbert, 52, the mother of Shannan Gilbert has been found murdered.  An attorney for the family has announced that Mari was killed by her daughter who suffers from schizophrenia.  Sarra Gilbert and Mari were at the Ellenville apartment at about 2:15 p.m. on Saturday and Sarra repeatedly slashed her with a knife, Ray said. Mari was found deceased.  Sarra has been arrested and charged.

marigilbert
Mari Gilbert

Mari was the person that reached out to me several years back when I first wrote up an article about her missing daughter.  I did a lot of research on it.  The case just didn’t make sense and the more I dug the more strange things came to light.  The saddest and happiest day of Mari’s life was when Shannon’s body  was found by a police officer.  Mari’s fight didn’t stop after her daughter was found.  She had to continue to fight as she was told her daughter’s death was accidental.  She never believed it and she continued to push her daughter’s case to keep it at the front of the news and attention of the police so whoever had killed Shannon and possible many other women would be found.  Her fight is what kept the attention on this case, and eventually led the police to the discovery of bodies that pointed to a serial killer, and the mishandling of the case by the police chief.  RIP Mari.

Please note the story about Shannon runs in reversed chronological order.  

Note: To learn more about this case, please click and read this post “A reader expresses their frustration.”

UPDATE:  12/14/15 –  Suffolk county Police Chief James Burke has been denied bail on a misconduct charge on Friday, for assaulting a man in 2012.  Burke who was running the investigation of the Gilgo Beach murders evidently ran interference and slowed the progress of the case according to The Post.

The FBI that is now involved in the case that is also referred to as the Long Island serial killer case, have stated that Burke was not giving them information on the murder of eight women, a toddler and a man that were found along Gilgo Beach.

“Burke never wanted us involved in this case because he knew we were investigating him,” said a FBI source reported the New York Post.

The Long Island serial killer is theorized to have killed from 10 to 17 people some associated with the sex trade over a period of 20 years.  Their bodies were found  Ocean Parkway, near the remote Long Island beach towns of Gilgo Beach and Oak Beach in Suffolk County and the area of Jones Beach State Park in Nassau County, according to wikipedia.

The bodies were found in December 2010.  Four found in December 2010 have been identified as missing prostitutes who advertised on Craigslist.   They all had been strangled and their bodies were wrapped in burlap sacks.   In March and April of 2011, four sets of remains were found within two miles of the bodies found in December.

longislandkiller
Sketch of the Long Island Killer

There may be six more victims, including Shannan Gilbert, and as recent as 2013.  Hopefully, the FBI, that is now doing the investigation as of Dec. 2015, can determine once and for all the complete list of victims and who is the serial killer.

UPDATE:  12/11/14 –  The family attorney for Shannan Gilbert has told PIX 11 news that “he believes he is on the trail of the killer,” of Shannan and also many other people that were found in a dumping ground along Ocean Parkway in Long Island.  Remains of 10 women have been found alone the south shore drive, although I did hear of 11 bodies were found several years back.

Shannan’s autopsy reveals that she had no drugs in her system, although it was noted that some drugs would not have had time to show in her bones or in her hair, and strangely enough the tips of several of her fingers and toes and a small bone in her neck were missing.  What caused this has not be determined at this time.  Her family says the results show that Shannan was in her right mind, that she must have tangled with the Gilgo killer.  Dr. Kobilinski, though, says the tests actually prove nothing, because her body withstood harsh elements for more than a year and a half.

Ray went on to say that he has pinpointed the last person to see Shannon alive while putting together the wrongful death lawsuit he has filed.  He has hours of depositions  for the lawsuit, but the Suffolk County Police Dept. has no interest in it.

“If I were dealing with a police department that wanted my evidence he probably at this point would be detained,” said Ray.

While I was writing up the story of Shannan’s case I also noted, how should I put it,
lack of motivation from the police.  It was not until an off duty police officer with his SAR dog that happened to be practicing came across Shannon’s body in that swampy area where no other police officer could.

Side note:

Please note that while doing the research on this story and this other one, I was drawn back to the house that Shannan ran from.  The house went up for sale shortly after the incident and photos of the inside of the house were posted.  I thought they were strange photos.  A single bed in an otherwise stark room.  Little furniture in other rooms.  Was the furniture already removed and this was the furniture left behind or was the person living in the house living this way.  It seemed to me to be a house only used for a one purpose and not a place where someone actually lived day to day.  Back then I didn’t have the capability to copy the photos I saw and now it it too late.  Police have stated they have spoken to the man that owned the house and he was not a suspect.  The house was taken off the market after it didn’t sell several months later.

Joseph Brewer’s home

Previous story:  Authorities believe they have found the remains of missing Shannan Gilbert, 24, Tuesday morning.

Joseph Brewer

When Police began searching for Shannan, they came across remains that they now know are attributing to a serial killer.  Someone used the coastal marsh on New York’s Long Island as a place to dump their victims.  So far there has been 8 victims, but Shannan is not considered one of them and believe that she accidentally downed in the marsh.

Back in May 2010, a resident heard Shannon running away from Joseph Brewer’s summer home in Oak Beach yelling, “They’re trying to kill me.”  Another man was found to be with Brewer that night.  Neither one of the men are considered a suspect in Shannan’s disappearance.

In December, authorities located Shannan’s purse with a photo ID inside and her shoes and jeans and cell phone.

“We believe at this time that they belong to the missing Shannan Gilbert,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said, according to the New York Post.   During a press conference today, Dormer stated he believes that Gilbert’s death was the result of an accidental drowning in the marshlands.

Police began searching for Shannan, a year ago this month.  It was then when they came across remains they attributing it to a serial killer.  Police realized that someone used the coastal marsh on New York’s Long Island as a place to dump their victims.  So far there has been 8 bodies found, although Shannan is not considered one of them.

Back in May 2010, a resident heard Shannan running away from Joseph Brewer’s summer home in Oak Beach yelling, “They’re trying to kill me.”  Another man was found to be with Brewer that night.  Neither one of the men are considered a suspect in Shannan’s disappearance.

Police commissioner Richard Dormer said, “If there is anymore bodies out there, we want to find them,” according to ABC News.

Although it may take them a very long time without the help from cadaver dogs.  In an article by Shelly Feurer Domas from the Long Island Press, it was reported that Nassau PBA President James Craver told the Long Island Press that during the Nassau county Police Dept. search along Jones Beach looking for victim’s remains from the Long Island serial killer, the dogs they used were not cadaver dogs, they weren’t even search and rescues dogs, they were bomb-sniffing dogs.  Why?

“They just did that for the media,” Carver said a member of the specialized unit told him.  “…It was a dog-and-pony show.  They’re having the appearance of dogs looking for bodies, that should be cadaver dogs, and we don’t have any.’

Without cadaver dogs, it may be a very long time before all the victims are discovered.  Maybe it’s time for the police dept to ask for help.

The police have uncovered 11 bodies, including a mother and child and a body the police believe has been there for approximately 15 years.  Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Lynn Costello, 27, would later be identified as the first four women found.

Driver Michael Pak

Shannon is linked to three known individuals in the hours before and after her disappearance: Her driver, Michael Pak; her client, Oak Beach resident Joseph Brewer; and another Oak Beach resident, Dr. Charles Peter Hackett, the former head of Suffolk County Emergency Medical Services and former police surgeon, who called Gilbert’s mother, Mari, two days after she vanished, according to phone records, reports ABC news.

Dr. Peter Hackett

Allegedly, he told Mari that Shannon came to his door and he had given her something in an attempt to calm her down because she had run from a nearby house. Inside he apparently treated her with drugs and then told her she could go, but she ran away from his home.  Mari’s lawyer John Ray, told the Journal “Our complaint alleges that he administered the drug, that he had her under his care, that he negligently and deliberately released her from his care, and we also say that he is the cause of her death.”

Once the home of Dr. Hackett
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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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