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Police ID bones found in Long Island as belonging to missing NJ woman Shannan Gilbert

Shannan Gilbert CBS New York

(CBS/AP) OAK BEACH, N.Y. - The bones found last week in a Long Island wetland have been identified as the missing New Jersey woman whose May 2010 disappearance led to the discovery of 10 sets of remains believed to be the victims of a possible serial killer.

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On Saturday, Suffolk County Police confirmed that the skeletal remains found early last week are the body of Shannan Gilbert. She was a prostitute who was last seen fleeing a client's home, headed toward the marsh where her remains were discovered.

A cause of death has yet to be determined.

According to CBS New York, investigators found Gilbert's remains on Tuesday in a marshy area about a quarter-mile from where her cell phone, purse, jeans, shoes and lip gloss were found December 7.

Suffolk County Police Department Commissioner Richard Dormer has said he believes a single serial killer is responsible for the deaths of the other 10 people whose remains were found in the area.  He also believes that Gilbert's death may have been the result of accidental drowning.

"Our condolences to the Gilbert family and her friends. We hope this brings them closure and peace," he said.

CBS New York reports that Gilbert's friends and family disagree with Dormer's hypothesis and have said they believe the fact that her clothing and purse were found far from her remains suggests foul play.

Complete coverage of the Long Island serial killer case on Crimesider

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