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Suffolk Police release 911 call in Gilgo Beach homicide investigation

Shannon Gilbert
Suffolk County Police
Shannon Gilbert

Editor's note: Some readers may find the audio of the 911 phone call disturbing.

Suffolk County police have released a recording of the 911 call made by Shannan Gilbert, a sex worker who disappeared from Oak Beach in May 2010. The search for Gilbert led to the discovery of 10 sets of human remains along Ocean Parkway in what has become nationally known as the “Long Island Serial Killer” investigation.

The tape is over 20 minutes long and contains several minutes of silence. Gilbert repeatedly tells dispatchers that someone is after her and she doesn’t know the address of her location. At times, she can be heard talking to her driver and to her client; at other times she is screaming and breathing heavily.

Gilbert’s remains were eventually found in a marshy area of Oak Beach in December 2011. Police said Friday that they don’t believe Gilbert was murdered.

“It’s a horrible accident,” Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said about Gilbert’s death at a news conference. “It’s tragic. But we're still open to information that can help us come to a stronger conclusion. But right now, we believe it's a tragic accident.”

The release of the tape marks a reversal for Suffolk County police who fought in court for years to keep it private.

“Too many times we've seen sensationalized reenactments,” Harrison said. “I believe that we need to get out as much information as possible to help the public better understand the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.”

The full recording of Shannan Gilbert’s 911 call is available at GilgoNews.com. Tips for the police can also be submitted on the site.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.