The location where Shannan Gilbert was found
Body Found Location in Babylon, New York
This is the location where Shannan Gilbert's body was found.
It is situated in a marsh near Oak Beach, which is a small gated community on the eastern side of Jones Beach Island in Babylon, New York.
Gilbert was a sex worker who disappeared after she inexplicably fled from a client's house in Oak Beach during the early hours of May 1st, 2010.
After calling 911 and frantically knocking on two neighboring houses, she seemingly vanished into the night without a trace.
One month later, the Suffolk County Police Department sent canine police officer John Mallia and his cadaver dog "Blue" to the area to try and locate the missing 23-year-old.
Although Mallia and Blue spent six months searching through fields and overgrown terrain, they missed the northern trench of this expansive 27-acre marsh.
Following months of no results, Mallia decided to broaden his search and head west along Jones Beach Island.
On December 11th, 2010, he was walking along a section of Ocean Parkway that is roughly 5.5 miles west of this location when Blue suddenly picked up a scent.
At that point, the dog led him into the thick brambles by the side of the road, where he discovered a skeleton that had been wrapped in decaying burlap.
Long Island serial killer
Initially, he believed that he had finally located Gilbert. However, it soon emerged that the skeleton actually belonged to another sex worker named Melissa Barthelemy, who had gone missing in July 2009.
During a sweep of the immediate area, the authorities discovered the remains of three more sex workers, all of whom had vanished between 2007 and 2010.
As the police widened their search along Ocean Parkway, the body count continued to rise. By April 2011, investigators had uncovered the skeletal remains of at least 10 victims.
The disturbing find at Gilgo Beach made it painfully obvious to everyone that an unidentified serial killer had been operating in the area for quite some time.
However, despite uncovering the killer's dumping ground, there was still no sign of Gilbert.
Gilbert's remains are discovered in this marsh
Gilbert remained missing for a further eight months until December 13th, 2011, when the authorities found her skeletal remains on the northern side of this marsh—roughly 390 yards (355 meters) northeast of her last known whereabouts.
By the time the authorities located her body, she had been lying in the marsh for 20 months. Due to the passage of time and her exposure to the elements, the medical examiner was unable to determine the cause of death.
The autopsy report indicated that local wildlife dispersed many of her smaller bones throughout the marsh. Some of these bones were also missing.
The police do not believe that she was a LISK victim
Although her disappearance eventually led to the discovery of the Long Island serial killer's dump site, neither the SCPD nor the FBI believe that she was one of his victims.
Gilbert was found three miles away from the closest LISK site. Furthermore, the nature of her disappearance was strikingly different.
The Long Island serial killer had lured his most recent victims into his vehicle using a disposable burner phone. He had also picked them up in places where he was pretty confident that he wouldn't be seen.
In one interview, former SCPD Commissioner Richard Dormer said that the modus operandi was different:
"The M.O. was completely different. This serial killer, by the way, is very careful. When he's connecting with the victims, there's no pimp involved, no driver involved. Because that would lead to his identification. It's the girls alone meeting this guy, and that's what he wanted. So he was very careful. He has planned this; he's very methodical."
This was a reasonably cautious man who operated much like a spider. He was manipulative and cunning enough to lure street-smart sex workers into his web without raising suspicions or being spotted by any witnesses. By the time his victims noticed any red flags, it was already too late.
In contrast, Gilbert was contacted by a client who had used his personal phone to schedule an outcall to his private residence. She was then driven to the client's house by her own personal driver.
LISK had stripped his victims of their clothes and belongings, wrapped them in burlap, pulled over to the side of Ocean Parkway, and then discreetly placed them in the roadside thicket.
It was a controlled, mechanical process that he had fine-tuned over the years.
Gilbert, on the other hand, was found in a large marsh area, within 750 feet of her ID, clothes, and other personal belongings. Unlike all of the other sites, the trench did not have any immediate road access.
If Gilbert did die at the hands of LISK, then it would mean that he had inexplicably decided to discard an effective modus operandi that had kept him flying under the radar since 1996.
It would also mean that he foolishly continued to use the site at Gilgo Beach immediately after one of his victims had created a ruckus in a nearby community, called 911, and then mysteriously disappeared (Megan Waterman and Amber Lynn Costello both went missing after the events at Oak Beach).
Gilbert was believed to have had bipolar disorder. There are also reports that she stopped taking her medication because it made her feel "jittery". During parts of her 911 call, it seemed as though she wasn't thinking rationally. For example, at one point, she accused her driver of being involved in a secret plot to kill her. Moments later, she begged him to take her home.
After reviewing the 911 call, the crime scene, and other facts about the case, both the FBI's Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU) and a psychiatrist concluded that she was not a victim of violence.
Her death remains a heated topic of debate
It is unlikely that we will ever find out what happened to Gilbert that night. Although investigators do not believe that she was a victim of the Long Island serial killer, there is still a possibility that someone may have played a direct (or indirect) role in her death.
One prevailing theory is that an Oak Beach resident may have given the frantic young woman sedatives in an effort to calm her down.
The police, on the other hand, have remained adamant that the 23-year-old's death was accidental. In their opinion, she may have drowned, succumbed to the elements, or died from hypothermia.
As it stands, there is no solid evidence linking anyone to her death.
Despite all of the debate and conflicting theories surrounding the incident at Oak Beach, there is one thing that almost everyone agrees on: Gilbert's disappearance lifted the lid on a serial killer who had every intention of claiming more victims.
Further information is available in the "Photos" section below.
Where was Shannan Gilbert's body found?
Below, you will find the address and the GPS coordinates for this location.
Oak Beach, Babylon, New York, NY 11702, USA
To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:
The latitude and longitude coordinates for the site are:
The site is on the northern side of the marsh, near the eastbound lane of Ocean Parkway. Please note that we advise against visiting this location, as marshes can be dangerous.
Details about the general area
Oak Beach is on the eastern side of Jones Beach Island.
Photos of the site and other related images.
Image source: Google Maps
This is an aerial map of Oak Beach and the adjoining marsh where Shannan Gilbert's body was found.
In the early hours of May 1st, 2010, Gilbert arrived at the home of Joseph Brewer, a client who had hired her for an outcall. During the "transaction", her driver, Michael Pak, waited outside the house in his black SUV.
At around 4.50 a.m., Brewer told Pak to come and get Gilbert. By that point, she had already called 911 and was claiming that "somebody" was after her (she did not name anyone, despite being asked to elaborate).
While Gilbert was speaking to the 911 operator, Brewer could be heard saying, "There is nobody after you. Come on, stop it. Your driver is out there. Your driver is right there."
When Pak entered the house and asked her to leave with him, she refused. Seconds later, she began accusing him of being involved in a plot to kill her.
Notably, Pak seemed confused by the situation. At one point, he told her that she was "freaking him out" and then pleaded with her to drive back to Manhattan with him.
Although Gilbert accused Pak of wanting to kill her, she later asked him to take her home. While the pair were arguing, he remarked that she was acting like the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), a film about two men who explore Las Vegas while under the influence of psychoactive drugs.
At some point during the argument, Gilbert ran away from Pak and Brewer and headed eastward through the gated community.
Moments later, she knocked on the door of an Oak Beach resident named Gus Colletti and told him that she needed help. However, she refused to stick around. Instead, she decided to run away from Colletti's house and continue southward until she came across the home of another resident named Barbara Brennan.
Once she reached Brennan's house, she banged on the door and claimed that she was in danger. Brennan, who was too afraid to let her in, called 911 and told the operator that "some woman" was knocking on her door.
This was the last known sighting of Shannan Gilbert. 20 months later, her remains were found in the northern trench of the nearby marsh.
Shortly after her disappearance, an Oak Beach resident named Dr. Charles Peter Hackett called Gilbert's mother, Mari Gilbert, and reportedly told her that he had looked after her daughter. During the call, Hackett allegedly claimed that he ran a halfway house for girls and that Shannan had spent some time there.
Although Hackett was investigated, he was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing. Those who knew him said that he had a history of telling fanciful tales and trying to insert himself into cases.
For example, when Trans World Airlines Flight 800 exploded over New York in 1996, he reportedly embellished his role in the emergency response by claiming that he had heroically driven past police roadblocks against the orders of his superiors.
Gilbert's client, John Brewer, was also cleared as a suspect. Since the incident, he has repeatedly maintained that the 23-year-old became agitated and started acting irrationally in the lead-up to her disappearance.
Image source: Google Maps
Judging by aerial photographs, it seems as though Gilbert may have entered the marsh from the western side.
Her clothes were found about 750–850 feet away from her body, near the central trench.
This has led to the theory that the 23-year-old may have died from hypothermia, as the condition is associated with a well-known phenomenon called paradoxical disrobing.
People who experience paradoxical disrobing will begin to feel as if they are overheating, even though their body temperature is dangerously low. Consequently, they will often begin to take off their clothes.
Notably, hypothermia can occur at relatively mild temperatures, especially if the person has been in contact with water. It is a misconception that it only occurs in cold conditions.
Others have posited the theory that Gilbert may have removed her clothes because they had become heavy from the water and mud.
Oak Island Beach Association
This is a Google Street View image of the entrance to the Oak Island Beach Association.
The private gated community is situated on the eastern side of Jones Beach Island.
Gilbert's remains lay in the marsh for 20 months, beyond these trees and bushes.
She was found roughly 40 yards (36 meters) south of Ocean Parkway.
These photographs show the marsh where her body was discovered.
Distance between Shannan Gilbert and the Gilgo Four
Tabloid newspapers, true crime bloggers, and podcast hosts often understate the distance between the Gilgo Four and the marsh where Shannan Gilbert was found.
For the sake of dramatic effect, they will sometimes insinuate that they were all discovered in the exact same spot.
However, this is slightly misleading, as Gilbert was found 5.3 miles east of the Gilgo Four.
This location belongs to the following categories:Long Island Serial Killer Locations
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