Families of Long Island killer’s victims share each other’s grief
Relatives join to mourn the loss of murder victims
Lorraine Ela is among the growing group of family members who have reached out to each other as they mourn the missing murder victims found on a remote beach in Suffolk County, Long Island.
Ela's daughter Megan Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, is among the victims believed to have been targeted by a still on the loose serial killer preying on woman who advertise online as escorts.
Last week Ela reportedly traveled to Connecticut to visit Melissa Cann to share her feelings and thoughts about everything that has happened since the bodies of her daughter and Cann's sister were discovered.
Cann’s sister, Maureen Branard-Barnes, 25, and Waterman were among the four sets of remains that police found on December 13.
According to a report in the Scarborough Leader, Can and Ela met for the first time in Connecticut, and since then they have spoken to each other daily.
"We talk every morning and every night," Ela told the Leader. "When I get up in the morning we’re always on Facebook."
Both women met on Facebook after four bodies were identified by police. Family members of Melissa Barthelemey, 24, of the Bronx and Amber Lynn Costello, 27, of North Babylon, Long Island also approached one another.
"We just started plugging in each others' names on Facebook," Ela said.
Ela told the Leader that the victims family members all speak with each other on a regular basis, although she is closest to Cann. She said the emotional support has helped her through her grieving process and it allowed Cann an outlet to speak with others.
"It’s been awesome," Ela said. "But I think it’s been more helpful for Melissa than me, because of her family."
Ela told the Leader that Cann has not been able to talk openly with her family about the case. She said the family also has chosen not to speak with media.
Ela said she has also has spoken with Sherri Gilbert of New Jersey, whose missing sister Shannan Gilbert was last seen in the Suffolk County area. Like the other women, Gilbert was known to advertise as an online escort.
Last month, police searching for Gilbert made further gruesome discoveries. Six additional sets of remains were found on the same stretch of beach between Suffolk County and Nassau County Long Island.
Although the remains have yet to be identified, police have confirmed two victims are that of a child and a man. In total, ten sets of human remains have been discovered since December.
"Every time they find somebody it starts the whole trauma all over again. It’s like the police just came and knocked on my door," Ela said.
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