HAUPPAUGE, Suffolk County (WABC) — Suffolk County authorities have identified another victim in the decade-long Gilgo Beach investigation.
During a news conference Friday, authorities identified Jane Doe No. 7, whose remains were found on Fire Island in 1996, as 34-year-old Karen Vergata.
The remains were later linked by DNA to other human remains found along Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach in 2011.
Vergata went missing February 14, 1996. She lived on West 45th Street in Manhattan and had been working as an escort. There was no missing-persons complaint filed at the time.
Her father last talked to her that same day, his birthday. He filed for a death certificate in 2015. She was officially declared dead on Oct. 24, 2017, with a date of her death of Feb. 14, 1999.
At one point, her father hired a private investigator, but he was unable to find the daughter.
Suffolk County police contacted her father, Dominick, when body parts were found in Fire Island in 1997. But authorities had no way of knowing at that point that DNA and genealogy would one day reveal it was his long lost daughter.
There are no charges at this time in connection with Vergata’s disappearance, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said.
“We’re going to have no comment on what, if any, suspects we’ve identified at this time,” Tierney said.
Tierney told Newsday that authorities believe they will soon be able to identify the remains of the three unidentified victims in the larger Gilgo Beach investigation.
Tierney also told Newsday that the previously discussed distinctive belt with the initials “WH” or “HM” was used to bound Gilgo Beach serial killing victim Maureen Brainard-Barnes’ remains.
Separately, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office submitted a court request to obtain a swab of DNA from murder suspect Rex Heuermann.
They already recovered DNA from Heuermann during their investigation, but are looking for more.
Heuermann was charged with three of the Gilgo Beach murders and is a prime suspect in a fourth.
While he has not yet been charged in that fourth homicide, the investigation “is expected to be resolved soon,” the document says.
MORE GILGO BEACH COVERAGE
THE INVESTIGATION: | Rodney Harrison delves deeper into Gilgo Beach murder investigation
THE VICTIMS: Who are the ‘Gilgo Four?’
CHILLING VOICEMAIL: Woman shares chilling voicemail left by Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann
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