A new autopsy of a 23-year-old woman whose body was found in 2011 could be a major development in the hunt for a Long Island serial killer.

Escort Shannan Gilbert, 23, of Jersey City, N.J., disappeared May 1, 2010, after visiting a client in the gated community of Oak Beach on an island off Long Island's south shore.

A months-long search for Gilbert led authorities to the bodies of four other sex workers, each strangled and stuffed in burlap bags.

Police initially speculated that Gilbert drowned in the marsh where she was found, but that is being called into question by evidence found in a new autopsy of her remains.

Cristina Corbin reported on “America’s News Headquarters” that renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden says there's enough evidence to warrant a second look and has taken on the case.

Baden believes it’s highly possible Gilbert was strangled, pointing to roughness on one side of the hyoid bone – a bone in the neck at the top of the voice box.

"Gilbert was last seen by a client, Joseph Brewer, who hired her that evening," Corbin reported. "He maintains his innocence. Attorney John Ray – who represents the Gilbert family – believes Shannan ran from Brewer's home and fell into the hands of his neighbor, Charles Peter Hackett – a doctor who some say has shown a strange interest in her disappearance."

"Phone records show Hackett called Gilbert's mother two days after she disappeared. A year-and-a-half later, her body was found yards from his home, near the same area as the other women."

Ray said that Hackett should be "decidedly a person of interest."

"Unlike the other victims, police know who Gilbert was with that night," Corbin said. "If it's proven she was murdered, it could change the course of the investigation into all the deaths."

Watch more above.


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