Identity of Gilgo Beach Murder Victim ‘Jane Doe Seven’ Finally Revealed After 27 Years
Authorities have identified one of the victims in the infamous Gilgo Beach murders that shook Long Island nearly three decades
Authorities have identified one of the victims in the infamous Gilgo Beach murders that shook Long Island nearly three decades ago. The victim previously known as “Jane Doe Seven” has been identified as Karen Vergata, 34 years old at the time of her disappearance. Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney made the announcement in a news briefing on Friday, revealing that DNA genetic genealogy was instrumental in finally solving the mystery.
The Gilgo Beach killings, a notorious case that involved the discovery of 11 sets of human remains in or near Ocean Parkway on Long Island since 2010, has captivated public attention for years. Although most of the remains have been identified, some victims remained unidentified until now.
Karen Vergata’s partial remains were first located in Davis Park on Fire Island in 1996. However, it wasn’t until April 11, 2011, that a skull found at Tobay Beach in Nassau County was linked to her remains through DNA analysis. From then on, she became known as “Jane Doe Seven” or “Fire Island Jane Doe.”
The breakthrough in Vergata’s identification came in August 2022 when a DNA profile suitable for genealogical comparisons was developed from the remains. In September 2022, the FBI was able to presumptively identify her, and in October 2022, officials used a buccal swab from a relative to definitively confirm her identity.
Vergata’s disappearance dates back to February 14, 1996, when she was 34 years old and living in Manhattan. It is believed that she worked as an escort during that time. Remarkably, no missing persons report was filed at the time she went missing, which further complicated the efforts to identify her.
While the investigation into Vergata’s disappearance is ongoing, authorities have informed her family about the discovery. At the moment, no charges have been filed related to her case.
The Gilgo Beach killings case has been marked by a long and arduous investigation, which finally led to the arrest of Rex Heuermann on July 13. Heuermann has been charged with three counts of murder in connection to the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello. He is also the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, known collectively as the “Gilgo Four.”