Long Island serial killer: FBI to search for bodies with high-tech aerial imaging

Authorities aboard a Nassau County police helicopter search for possible victims of a suspected serial killer along Ocean Parkway at Jones Beach in Wantagh, N.Y., Thursday, April 14, 2011.
AP Photo/Robert Mecea
uthorities aboard a Nassau County police helicopter search for possible victims of a suspected serial killer.
Authorities aboard a Nassau County police helicopter search for possible victims of a suspected serial killer along Ocean Parkway at Jones Beach in Wantagh, N.Y., Thursday, April 14, 2011. AP Photo/Robert Mecea

By CBS News Investigative producer Pat Milton

A source told CBS News that the FBI will be using high-tech imaging devices aimed at detecting human remains from aircraft as part of its aerial search of the Long Island South Shore beaches where the skeletal remains of ten people have been discovered since last December.

The source said the FBI's high-resolution photographic equipment which employs sophisticated light sensors was requested by Suffolk County Police in its search for any other possible victims that may be hidden in the thick underbrush where the bodies were found dumped. One of those victims already identified disappeared in 2007, and a Forensic Anthropology team working on the case believe given the condition of the remains found this week they may have been dead at least as long as three or four years.

"Not natural items" found in latest police searches

The source said during police fly-overs this week, a lot of bags were spotted among debris in the dense vegetation, which investigators want to examine to see if they contain remains.

Investigators are also analyzing the burlap bag packaging that held some of the remains for clues and combing over cell phone records and the internet for any leads. The four identified women were known prostitutes who advertised on the internet.

Investigators using old fashion leg-work and technology are also trying to trace the movements of the four women who have been identified, talking to their family members, friends, anyone involved in the lives of the victims for information they may lead them to their killer.

More than 600 hundreds calls have been received by Nassau and Suffolk detectives even several callers from overseas, offering tips and suggesting strategies for finding the serial killer. Mostly all of the leads are being run to ground, sources said. They are also examining old cases of serial killers to see if a link can be established.

So far there are no active suspects.

  • Pat Milton

    Pat Milton is a CBS News investigative producer