May 29, 2020
Gilgo Beach Murder Victim Identified As Valerie Mack Two Decades After She Vanished

Partial remains discovered almost a decade ago on Long Island were officially identified as 24-year-old Valerie Mack by Suffolk County Police on Thursday, NBC News reported earlier today. Mack was identified using genetic genealogy.

Mack was working as an escort in Philadelphia in 2000 when she vanished. Until now, she was referred to as "Jane Doe #6."

Mack's dismembered body was discovered alongside 11 other sets of remains found along Ocean Parkway in 2010 and 2011.

According to the article, "partial remains" of the victim were found the same year she went missing in Manorville, "near the skeletal remains of a baby girl and an Asian man."

Eleven years later, the rest of her body was found on Gilgo Beach while authorities were searching for another escort, Shannon Gilbert, who went missing in 2010 after visiting a client in Oak Beach. Manorville is approximately 50 miles east of the Gilgo and Oak Beaches.

Gilbert's disappearance became famous because the search for her led to the discovery of 10 homicide victims alongside Ocean Parkway, the majority of which were linked to the Long Island serial killer. Mack's remains were among those found during the search for Gilbert.

Gilbert's body was eventually discovered in December 2011 near Oak Beach, but police have said they do not think her death is connected to the deaths of the other victims because her body "doesn't match the pattern of the Gilgo Beach homicides," said ABC News.

That said, authorities have also noted that it is still possible Gilbert is connected, and her case remains part of the active investigation into the Gilgo Beach murders.

The murders have remained unsolved, and no suspect has been publicly identified.

Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart issued a statement on Mack's identification.

"For two decades, Valerie Mack's family and friends were left searching for answers and while this is not the outcome they wanted, we hope this brings some sense of peace and closure."
Additional victims identified over the years include Jessica Taylor, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Amber Lynn Costello, Megan Waterman, and Melissa Barthelemy. Many of the women found were sex workers.

"There was no familial relationship between Jessica Taylor and Valerie Mack, who was also known as Melissa Taylor," the NBC News article asserted.

The Gilgo Beach murders have become a talking point again in 2020 as earlier this year, police released new evidence from the case in the form of a belt with the initials "HM" or "WH," in the hopes someone would come forward with answers.

In March, Netflix released a film on the disappearance of Shannon Gilbert and her mother Mari's involvement in the investigation, titled Lost Girls. The film was based on the book Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker.