Twelve years after the first of 11 sets of human remains werePolice released a video of one of the victims for the first time on Tuesday before she was killed, . Officials also announced they were doubling the reward to $50,000 in the Gilgo Beach murders case.
“We’re making real progress,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said.
Suffolk’s new police commissioner said he was bringing transparency and, he hopes, new leads into a notorious crime spree that has stymied police for a dozen years.
He posted never-before-seen video from a lobby of the Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge on June 4-6, 2010. Megan Waterman is seen in a yellow top in her final hours.
“We believe she left the hotel that night to meet her killer,” Harrison said. “We hope that anyone who may have been in the area that night where many have seen any of the people depicted in these videos will contact our Crime Stoppers hotline. [800-220-TIPS].”
Police say they hope to refresh their memory and double the reward for information to $50,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
Waterman was one of six sex workers killed, found with the remains of five others.
Videos appear on a revamped GilgoNews.com website, a renewed effort by a task force that includes discussions with victims of sex trafficking in prison.
“Gain their trust and finally ask them to tell us who they think is responsible for these heinous crimes,” said Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Catalina.
The bodies have all been recovered due to the initial search for missing woman Shannan Gilbert. Her sister is not too optimistic.
“You post things that you could have posted from the start,” Sherre Gilbert told CBS New York. “It really doesn’t make sense for them to release these little pieces of evidence, but none of this, to me, is really helpful.”
“I think more should be coming right away,” said Shannan Gilbert’s family attorney John Ray.
Ray pressured the police to release many more, including Gilbert’s 911 call, which he overheard.
“It’s the first step, but it’s a very small step towards what needs to be done, which is to bring the public into this case. It’s the only way to solve this problem,” said he declared.
The new Suffolk Police Commissioner says he is still assessing whether releasing the 911 tape will help or hinder the investigation. Shannan’s sister and attorney say it’s been overdue for more than a decade.