Suffolk County police now believe the disappearance of missing prostitute Shannon Gilbert was an accident.
The New Jersey woman was last seen as she ran from a client's home in the gated Oak Beach community in May 2010 in Long Island.
After a lengthily search police discovered Gilbert's jeans, shoes, purse, ID and a cell phone in the marshy swamp, close to where she was last seen.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer told reporters the water in the marsh had receded far below the lake-like terrain, which allowed the police officers to locate Gilbert’s possessions.
Search for Shannan Gilbert and serial killer on Long Island continues despite ‘red herrings’
More US crime stories on IrishCentral
Dublin Archbishop tells lapsed Catholics to leave the Catholic Church
"We believe that Shannan Gilbert ran into that area the night she disappeared," Dormer said. "It's very easy to get engulfed with water and muck and fall down and not be able to get out of there. So we surmise that that's what happened to Shannan and she's in there someplace, and we're going to do everything we can to find her."
Police were searching for Gilbert last December when they began finding human remains along the Ocean Parkway. After an extensive search, ten sets of human remains were discovered, none of which were found to be Gilbert.
"If it wasn't for her, maybe that that was her reason -- to help find the other victims," Shannan Gilbert's mother Mary said.
On Monday, police continued their fifth day of searching for Gilbert’s remains. No suspects have been arrested. The search is ongoing.