BABYLON, N.Y. — Investigators are considering the possibility that a serial killer may have dumped four bodies along the same quarter-mile stretch of beachside road, a police chief said Tuesday.

Police looking for a missing prostitute on Long Island's Fire Island have discovered three bodies and a set of skeletal remains on Oak Beach since Saturday. It appears all four were thrown from a vehicle, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said.

Forensic experts have determined that at least two of the four bodies are female, but identifying them could take weeks, Dormer said. Experts were taking DNA samples and examining dental records.

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"We're looking at that - that we could have a serial killer," Dormer said in response to a reporter's question.

Dormer said the four appeared to have been killed elsewhere and then brought to the site, a wind-swept strip of land less than 1,000 yards wide that divides the Great South Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.

The remains were badly decomposed, but appeared to have been dumped over an 18-month period, Dormer said.

The skeletal remains were found Saturday as police were following up on a missing-person report. The three bodies were found Monday.

Dormer said police had been looking for 24-year-old Shonnan Gilbert, of Jersey City, who was last seen May 1. He said Gilbert worked as a prostitute and arranged through Craigslist to meet a client on Fire Island, which is about three miles west of where the bodies were found.

Dormer said there was no indication that Gilbert was among the four bodies.

The situation is reminiscient of a 2006 discovery of four female bodies in a ditch behind a West Atlantic City motel. The victims in that situation were prostitutes, and officials are still trying to figure out who murdered those women.

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