Police release photo of belt handled by suspect in New York's Gilgo Beach killings

Shannan Gilbert of New Jersey disappeared in 2010.

(CNN)It's known as the Gilgo Beach murders, an unsolved case that has dredged up at least 11 human remains since 2010 and led to the hunt for a possible serial killer in suburban New York.

On Thursday, Suffolk County police on Long Island released photos of what it said could be a significant piece of evidence: a black leather belt embossed with the letters "WH" or "HM" that was found at one crime scene nearly a decade ago.
"We believe the belt was handled by the suspect and did not belong to any of the victims," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart told reporters.
"We are hopeful that this photograph will bring somebody forward with information about the origins of that article."
    Police believe a leather belt was handled by the suspect.
    Police also launched the website www.gilgonews.com to collect new tips and information about the murder investigation.
    "It is important that the families of these murder victims know we remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver justice," Hart said.
    The first set of female bodies were discovered by police in 2010 among the bushes along an isolated strip of waterfront property on Gilgo Beach while searching for Shannan Gilbert, a missing 24-year-old woman from Jersey City, New Jersey.
    By the time Gilbert's body was found one year later on neighboring Oak Beach, Long Island, investigators, including the FBI, had unearthed 10 sets of human remains strewn across two Long Island counties.
    Police said many of the victims identified had advertised prostitution services on websites such as Craigslist.
    No arrests have been made in the slayings, and authorities have offered conflicting theories about whether a serial killer was responsible.
    In 2016, the findings of an independent autopsy on Gilbert were found to be "consistent with homicidal strangulation," according to a report released her family's attorney, John Ray.