2:04 PM PDT, May 13, 2022
Twelve years after she disappeared, Suffolk County Police released the audio Friday of Gilbert in hopes to bring more attention to the case.
The calls, released via two YouTube videos, also showcase Suffolk Police explaining the circumstances in which the calls were made by Gilbert the night she vanished.
Gilbert, a sex worker who lived in Jersey City, called 911 during the early morning hours of May 1, 2010, after she went to Manhattan to meet a driver, Michael Pak, to bring her to a client, Joseph Brewer, on Gilgo Beach, Long Island.
In the calls, Gilbert is heard slurring her words and screaming. The police say in the video that they encourage everyone to listen to the calls fully and not take things out of context.
“There’s somebody after me,” Gilbert is heard repeating at the top of the first call.
After multiple times being asked where she was by the 911 operator, Gilbert finally says, “I don’t know.” She then admits “I am inside the house,” but never says what house because she doesn’t know.
She also asks the operator to trace her call but the operator cannot. She then repeats that “somebody is after me.”
After an inaudible conversation with both Pak and Brewer, the two men try to convince her to go outside the home.
She eventually flees the home, keeping 911 on the phone, and is heard screaming as she knocks on the door of a neighbor.
Two neighbors in the area call 911, according to the New York Post.
“Based on the evidence, the facts, and the totality of the circumstances, the prevailing opinion in Shannan’s death, while tragic, was not a murder and was most likely noncriminal,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said at a news conference Friday.
Gilbert’s remains were found one year later. Both Pak and Brewer were cleared of any wrongdoing.
Along with Gilbert, the remains of 10 people were found along Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach on Long Island. The body of a toddler, who is believed to be the child of one of the victims, as well as an unidentified man, were among the remains discovered. The remains were found in burlap bags. Four of the victims were sex workers who were found strangled and dumped on the stretch of marsh along the beach after advertising their services on Craigslist, police said.
It’s believed they were killed elsewhere and then brought to Gilgo Beach.
Some of the remains date back to 1995, officials said. No arrests have been made in the case and the investigation is ongoing.
In 2020, Suffolk County police identified the remains of Valerie Mack. Mack had been identified as Jane Doe for numerous years after her body was found along Ocean Parkway.
Mack, who was reportedly an escort from Philadelphia, went missing in 2000 when she was 24 years old. Mack’s murder, which remains unsolved, is thought to be the work of a serial killer.
Some of Mack’s remains were found by police in 2000 in a wooded area in Manorville, Long Island, but in 2011, more of her remains were found near Gilgo Beach.
Police said they found Mack’s biological relatives’ genetic material through a public genealogy site and it led them to an aunt of Valerie’s. Through her aunt, police were led to Mack’s adoptive family and her son, who is now in his 20’s. His DNA tested positive as a match to Valerie’s DNA last week, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart announced at a press conference Thursday.
Mack, who was orphaned as a child, was never reported missing, the reasons for which still remain unknown. She was the second victim whose remains were found in Manorville and Gilgo Beach.
The remains of Jessica Taylor, a 20-year-old sex worker, were found in both places as well. This is the first time in New York that police have used a genealogy website to breathe new life into a cold case.
“For two decades, Valerie Mack’s family and friends were left searching for answers and while this is not the outcome they wanted, we hope this brings some sense of peace and closure,” Hart said. “We will continue to use every investigative tool available to aggressively investigate these murders.”
Suffolk Police have announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
The 911 calls, as well as other videos, appear on the GilgoNews.com, a website created by the Suffolk Police task force on the case.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 1-800-220-TIPS.