Woman found dead on New York beach likely strangled

A sex worker who vanished in 2010 and whose remains were later found at a remote beach highway in New York -- revealed to be the dumping ground of a suspected serial killer -- may have died from strangulation, according to a new autopsy released Friday.

Shannan Gilbert, 23, of Jersey City, N.J., disappeared May 1, 2010, after visiting a client in the gated community of Oak Beach on a barrier island off Long Island's south shore. A months-long search for her first led to the bodies of four other prostitutes, each strangled and stuffed in burlap bags along Ocean Parkway, a 15-mile road that spans Jones Beach, roughly a mile from where detectives would later find Gilbert's body, in December 2011. A total of 11 sets of human remains -- including those of a toddler -- were found at the scene.

After the discovery of Gilbert's remains, the Suffolk County medical examiner ruled her cause of death "undetermined," and police theorized she drowned while running through a marsh in a drug-induced state -- calling her death unrelated to the four victims of a suspected serial killer.

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