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Shannan Gilbert's family speaks out: "Something happened to her that night. She ran for her life. She was in fear"

Shannan Gilbert's family speaks out on Gilgo Beach murders controversy
Shannan Gilbert's family speaks out on Gilgo Beach murders controversy 02:36

MILLER PLACE, N.Y. - Was it an accident or murder? 

The family of Shannan Gilbert is speaking out. 

Her disappearance led to the discovery of ten bodies along Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach, Long Island. 

Her sister tells CBS2's Jennifer McLogan the 911 calls released by Suffolk County Police prove that Shannan's death was not accidental. 

Her family is reacting to the release of the chaotic 911 calls from Gilbert the night she went missing in Oak Beach more than 11 years ago. 

SCPD releases Video Describing Shannan Gilbert 911 Calls by Suffolk County Police Department on YouTube

"It doesn't matter if people believe she' s a victim of the Long Island serial killer or not. Something happened to her that night. She ran for her life. She was in fear," Shannan's sister Sherre Gilbert said. 

Sherre Gilbert believes Suffolk Police botched the case, and that her death was not accidental. She also disputes accounts of her mental health. 

"This reported illness and substance abuse at times manifested itself in episodes of confusion. Getting lost, violent outbursts, and irrational behavior," said Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer of the Suffolk County Police. 

Gilbert can be heard running away from her Craigslist client and her limo driver, seeming confused and disoriented while repeating her life was in danger. 

In the call, Shannan Gilbert can be heard telling a 911 operator "There's somebody after me." 

"Where are you ma'am," the operator asked. 

"I don't know," Gilbert replied. 

Gus Coletti, a neighbor, could be heard onf the call asking "Are you all right?"

"I need help," Gilbert sad. 

"Don't get yourself hurt. Where are you going?" Coletti asked. 

"She says she's in danger," another neighbor, Barbara Brennan, said.

"Do you know her?" the 911 operator asked. 

"No I don't. I'm not letting her it," Brennan said. 

The family says if not for Shannan's cries for help, the bodies of four Gilgo Beach victims never would have been found, launching one of the nation's most notorious serial killer cases

The Gilberts hired a private pathologist. That autopsy revealed Shannan died of strangulation or asphyxiation, which Shannan's sister claims is consistent with the four other girls found dead at Gilgo. 

The Gilbert family attorney wants current homicide detectives off Shannan's case, and an independent investigation by the state attorney general. 

"We want fresh eyes to look at the entire investigation that took place. Something's really wrong with the way the police handled this," said attorney John Ray. 

"Somebody found her and took her, potentially gave her something to maybe calm her down and she accidentally died, and then took her body - this is my theory - to the roadside," Sherre Gilbert said. 

Shannan's death was ruled accidental, but 10 unsolved homicide cases remain up and down Ocean Parkway, going back decades. 

Suffolk Police are offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads them to the Gilgo Beach killer - or killers. 

The Gilbert's attorney wants a former Oak Beach homeowner fully investigated - a man who phoned Shannan's mother the night of her daughter's disappearance. He has since moved to Florida. 

A Suffolk County Police spokesperson issued the following statement: 

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison remains focused on solving this case.

Upon taking office, Commissioner Harrison created the Gilgo Beach Homicide Investigation Task Force which includes all of the associated law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, and the department remains open to working with any agency to help solve these cases.

As the commissioner has stated all along, if anyone has additional information to further this investigation, the department is asking them to come forward and the information will be investigated in its entirety. 

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