LONG ISLAND, NY — Between December 2010 and April 2011, authorities discovered the partial remains of what they believe is eight women, a man, and a toddler dumped on Long Island’s Gilgo Beach. A number of the victims are believed to have been sex workers.
The ongoing search for LISK — shorthand for “Long Island Serial Killer” — remains among the highest profile and most haunting unsolved cases in modern law enforcement. Now, at last, there may be some new clues.
DNA from a female torso found in a Hempstead Lake State Park trash bin in 1997 matches skeletal remains of a woman and her baby discovered on Gilgo Beach in 2011.
Investigators had referred to the woman from whom the torso came as “Peaches,” due to a distinctive tattoo of the fruit with a bite taken out of it under her left breast.DNA now proves that “Peaches” is the same person as “Jane Doe No. 3,” one of the mutilated women in the Gilgo Beach case. Peaches has also been proven to be the mother of Baby Doe, a toddler whose body was dumped 10 miles away, near yet another victim.
After the TV show America’s Most Wanted aired a photo of Peaches’ tattoo, Connecticut tattoo artist Steve Cullen contacted authorities. Cullen said he thinks he did the tattoo, and that he gave it to a young woman from Long Island who said she was having problems with a boyfriend. Cullen said he recognized the ink immediately because, “I’ve been tattooing for 30 years, not once have I ever seen a peach with a bite taken out of it.”
Baby Doe, whose gender remains unconfirmed, is believed to have been between the ages of one to four years old, and authorities have ruled the child’s death a homicide.
The FBI is presently working with local law enforcement on the case.
Main photo: The “Peaches” tattoo [Nassau County Police Department]