SUFFOLK COUNTY — Suffolk County Police said Thursday the Long Island Serial Killer (LISK) investigation took a “giant leap forward” with the identification of a 2000 murder victim, previously known as Manorville Jane Doe or Jane Doe #6.
The victim was identified as Valerie Mack, 24, and police said she’d been working as an escort in the Philadelphia area 20 years ago. She also had an alias, Melissa Taylor.
The Long Island FBI was able to use public genealogy sites to connect the victim’s DNA with possible relatives in New Jersey.
Investigators later met Mack’s potential family members and, after interviews and further testing, made the identification.
Mack was last seen in the spring or summer of 2000 in Port Republic, New Jersey.
Her torso was found by hunters in November 2000 northwest of Halsey Manor Road in Manorville, Long Island.
Eleven years later, her head, hands and a right foot were discovered in the brush off Ocean Parkway, between Gilgo and Oak Beaches, on April 4, 2011.
Mack’s remains were discovered four months after Suffolk Police found the first four victims of a serial killer in Gilgo Beach in December 2010.
The bodies of the initial four victims in Gilgo were intact, some of them wrapped in burlap.
Jane Doe #6, as Mack was previously known, was the sixth victim discovered along Ocean Parkway.
Her remains were situated close to a female toddler who’s also been tied to the elusive serial killer, but DNA testing later tied the child to another victim found on Ocean Parkway in Nassau County.
At least 10 victims have been tied to the unknown, Long Island Serial Killer, and the number could be as high as 17.
One of the women identified as a Gilgo victim was Jessica Taylor, whose torso was found in the Manorville woods in 2003.
Suffolk County prosecutor, Robert Biancavilla, said in 2017 that John Bittrolff, a one-time carpenter from Manorville, could have killed some of the other Gilgo victims.
Bittrolff was convicted in 2017 of killing two sex workers in the early 1990s—Rita Tangredi and Colleen McNamee—who were discovered in the Manorville area within two months of each other.
Bittrolff was arrested after his brother’s DNA was linked a relative to the killings of the two sex workers in November 1993 and January 1994.
The first known Gilgo victim was traced to 1996: a pair of legs that washed up near Davis Park on Fire Island. That victim remains unidentified.
The female toddler remains unidentified, along with an Asian male dressed in women’s clothing, and the mother of the child, identified only as “Peaches,” because of a tattoo discovered on her chest.
Officials set up a website for information and tips, which can be found here.