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Police: Human teeth found on N.Y. beach during search over deaths

From Susan Candiotti and Ross Levitt, CNN
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Bone science identifies crime victims
  • NEW: Two teeth that appear to be human are discovered by investigators
  • NEW: The teeth are found near where a human skull was uncovered in Nassau County
  • NEW: Nassau County official says this is a step toward bringing "this killer to justice"

New York (CNN) -- Two teeth that appear to be human were discovered by investigators Friday in a thicketed and remote oceanfront stretch of Long Island, according to police.

The teeth were found near where a human skull was uncovered in Nassau County last week, and are the latest discovery in an ongoing search that has found 10 sets of human remains since December.

From those remains, authorities have identified at least eight bodies.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said Friday's find takes authorities a step closer to bringing "this killer to justice," though he added that a medical examiner will have to determine if the teeth are indeed human.

Earlier Friday, police spokesman Kevin Smith cautioned against media speculation regarding a possible killer, saying that the two sets of human remains found in Nassau County have yet to be classified as a criminal homicide matter.

"Anybody who is making a profile (of a possible killer), its pure speculation," Smith said in reference to the human remains found in that county.

His words were in sharp contrast with those of authorities in neighboring Suffolk County, where eight other sets of human remains have been found.

That county's police commissioner, Richard Dormer, said the remains found in Suffolk could be the work of a serial killer or killers.

Dormer first mentioned the possibility of a serial killer in January, when the total number of bodies found was four.

Those bodies were all women prostitutes uncovered within a quarter-mile of each other, according to Dormer.

"Common sense tells us it's not a coincidence," Suffolk County Detective Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky said at the time.

Since then, authorities have discovered six additional sets of human remains in the two counties. They appeared to be in various stages of decomposition, police said.

Officials have yet to identify the latest sets and have provided few other details regarding the discoveries.

Friday's find of the teeth came as police fanned out across brush and bramble-filled areas that border a Long Island highway in a remote area near the Town of Oyster Bay.

Earlier this week, police divers scoured the sea floor with metal detectors and long poles during an underwater search for evidence in the possible serial killer case.

"It could be a piece of jewelry, it could be a piece of apparel, anything of interest," said Harold Jantzen, the Suffolk County marine deputy inspector.

That search was in the same area where the first four bodies were uncovered in December.

The area, near private docks in upscale Oak Beach, is also where 23-year-old Shannan Gilbert was last seen in May of last year. The missing New Jersey woman's disappearance prompted the initial search.

She was reported missing after attending a private party at a home in the Oak Beach community. No sign of her has been found.

Police said Gilbert, like the other four women found in Suffolk County, had advertised prostitution services on Internet sites such as Craigslist.