Gilgo Beach murders: Timeline of events

The Gilgo Beach murders case dates back to 2007, when the first victim went missing.

The first bodies were found in 2010, but it was not until now that any arrests were made. 

The bodies of the so-called ‘Gilgo Four' were discovered after police investigated the missing persons case of sex worker Shannan Gilbert. Gilbert's case was found to not be connected to the Gilgo Four, but the hunt for her remains spurred the initial investigation. 

Timeline of Events:

  • July 2007 - Maureen Brainbard-Barnes goes missing in New York City. She was last seen alive on July 9, 2007.
  • July 2009 - Melissa Barthelemy goes missing. A burner phone she had used was pinged in Massapequa Park
  • June 2010 - Megan Waterman goes missing
  • September 2010 - Amber Costello goes missing

In December 2010, during the search for Barthelemy, the victims' bodies were found in Gilgo Beach, the first on December 11, and the next three on December 13.

Then, in April 2011, four more bodies were discovered, making investigators question how many killers might have been at work.  

The investigation has been overseen by multiple police commissioners in Suffolk County. 

In 2018, Geraldine Hart became the fourth Police Commissioner to oversee the investigation, bringing a renewed urgency to the case along with the discovery of the leather belt that was ritualistically tied around the victims.

Finally, on December 2021, former NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison took over as Suffolk Police Commissioner and within a month had established the Gilgo Beach Homicide Investigation Task Force, whose sole purpose was to bring the killer to Justice.