Police: No link found between New Jersey murders and New York serial killer

April 14th, 2011 - 1:20 am ICT by BNO News  

SUFFOLK COUNTY, NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — Police in New York state have so far found no evidence to link the murders of four prostitutes in New Jersey in 2006 to the ongoing investigation into a suspected serial killer on Long Island, police said on Wednesday.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said during a news conference on Tuesday that his office has been in contact with investigators in Atlantic City where four dead prostitutes were discovered in 2006. But he said they have so far found no evidence to connect them to the murders in New York’s Long Island.

Police on Long Island have so far recovered the remains of eight people in Suffolk County since December, while at least one or perhaps two other partial remains were found on Monday during a search in neighboring Nassau County. At least some of them are believed to be the work of a serial killer.

On Wednesday, police again widened their search by sending five divers to search the waters near Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County. Dormer said the divers are looking for evidence in connection to the murders, but said there has been no specific information to believe there is anything in the water.

Dormer said their office has so far received more than 600 tips in connection with the remains. “All tips are being reviewed by the homicide task force,” he said, adding that officers are interviewing a ‘lot of’ people.

But Dormer criticized some of the media coverage and warned that speculation was not helpful for the investigation. “Please keep in mind this is not an episode of CSI,” he added.

At least four of the victims found in December in Suffolk County have been identified as missing prostitutes who met their clients through Craigslist. But the identities of the other victims remain unknown, and Dormer said investigators do not know their gender or how long they have been there.

The Police Commissioner further reiterated that it appears at least the four identified victims were targeted because of their profession, and that the general community should not be alarmed. “We don’t want people to think there is a person running around with blood dripping from a knife,” he said, referring to some media reports which have called the unidentified killer the Long Island Ripper, a reference to unidentified serial killer Jack the Ripper who targeted prostitutes in London in the late 19th century.

“Anybody in the business should be very careful about who they meet,” Dormer said, giving a warning to prostitutes who work on Long Island. He said his office has now formally requested help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), although that agency was already assisting in some degree.

Earlier this month, police sources told the New York Times that the potential serial killer likely has extensive knowledge about how police work. “Here is a guy who is aware of how we utilize technology. People are thinking [that] maybe he could be a cop,” the source said.

According to the sources, the teenage sister of 24-year-old victim Melissa Barthelemy received a series of taunting phone calls after she went missing in mid-2009. They were made from in or around crowded locations in New York City such as Times Square, making it impossible for police to find the caller on surveillance footage.

“Without question, this guy is smart, this guy is not a dope,” the investigator told the Times, saying the calls were vulgar, mocking and insulting. “It’s a guy who thinks about things.”

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