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Gilgo Beach serial killings: FBI tracking lead to Alabama over ‘Peaches’ tattoo

The FBI is tracking a lead in the Gilgo Beach serial killings case to Alabama. 

In a Friday Facebook post, the Mobile Police Department said that the FBI is seeking relatives and friends of a long-deceased man named Elijah “Lige” Howell/Howard, who lived from 1927-1963. 

Howard lived in Prichard, Alabama, with his wife Carrie and passed away in Mobile in 1963 “with Ms. Lillie Mae Wiggins Packer,” police wrote. “His relatives may be able to assist in the case of a woman and child found in another state. Does this tattoo look familiar? If anyone has any information, please call 1-800-call-FBI or” 

The department shared a photo of a tattoo of two peaches between green leaves. 


The same tattoo is connected to the Gilgo Beach investigation on New York’s Long Island.

The case, launched nearly 12 years ago, led to the discovery of 10 human remains, mostly women, one man, and a child along Ocean Parkway. One of the unidentified victims, an African American female known as Jane Doe #3, was nicknamed “Peaches” for the tattoo on her left breast. 

She was discovered in Hempstead Lake State Park in 1997, but other skeletal remains in a plastic bag belonging to the victim were found near Jones Beach State Park during the Gilgo investigation. 

The remains of the woman’s daughter, only one-to-two years old, who authorities say was murdered, were found in 2011. 

The mother and daughter were found wearing similar gold bracelet jewelry. 

At least some victims in the case were sex workers dismembered and stuffed into bags. 

At the start of this year, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison, newly at the helm of the department, launched an interagency task force dedicated to solving the Gilgo Beach serial killings. 

The investigation began in 2010, when 23-year-old Shannan Gilbert, who advertised work online as an escort, dialed 911, telling an operator that someone was trying to kill her, before mysteriously disappearing from a gated community on the south shore of Long Island. 

During the search for Gilbert, the remains of four other women, 24-year-old Melissa Barthelemy, 27-year-old Amber Lynn Costello, 22-year-old Megan Waterman and 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes were found. The women were nicknamed the “Gilgo Beach Four.” 

Three months later, in March 2011, the partial remains of 20-year-old Jessica Taylor were found near Gilgo Beach. Authorities said part of Taylor’s body was discovered eight years earlier and 40 miles away in Manorville, New York.

Days later, three more sets of human remains were discovered alongside Ocean Parkway. The first was 24-year-old Valerie Mack, whose partial remains had also been found in Manorville years earlier. An unidentified toddler was found near Mack, according to the official website dedicated to the case.

Two miles west, police discovered the skeletal remains of an unidentified Asian man — or transgender woman — believed to be 17 to 23 years old. A week later, in April 2011, two more sets of partial remains were found along Ocean Parkway. The first were those of the woman known as “Peaches,” believed to be the mother of the toddler found the week before. Part of her body had been previously discovered in Hempstead Lake State Park in 1997. 

The second was the skull of a woman who was linked to remains found on Fire Island in 1996. The case remains unsolved more than a decade later. 

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