OAK BEACH, N.Y. (CBS/WCBS/AP) Police determined that the four decomposed bodies found recently alongside a remote parkway at a beach on Long Island are all women.
The four bodies were systematically dumped, perhaps over a period of 18 months or longer, along a desolate, wind-swept stretch of highway that on sunny summer days transports thousands to the white sands of Jones Beach, police said.
Homicide detectives on a freezing December day were scrambling to learn the identities of the victims. The first of the decomposed corpses was found Saturday by an officer and his cadaver dog. Three more, all scattered within a quarter-mile, were found two days later.
Now, authorities want to apprehend a possible serial killer.
"We're looking at that - that we could have a serial killer," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer told CBS affiliate WCBS. "I don't think it's a coincidence that four bodies ended up in this area."
Tuesday's search on a highway about 45 miles east of New York City ended without any additional discoveries, but police intend to press on with an investigation. Suffolk County police were expected to meet with the FBI on Wednesday.
Police found the decomposed remains just feet from the roadway during an ongoing search for a missing prostitute last known to be headed to nearby Fire Island. As of Tuesday, there was no indication the woman, a 24-year-old from Jersey City, N.J., who was reported missing May 1, was among the dead.
Suffolk County detectives also have been searching for a Maine woman who worked as an escort and was last seen in June at a hotel in Hauppauge, N.Y., where she went with her boyfriend.
Police believe the four were killed elsewhere and then brought to the site, a narrow strip of land that divides the Great South Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.