updated 1/19/2011 3:39:38 PM ET 2011-01-19T20:39:38

A Maine woman who was last seen in June is among four bodies found dumped along a deserted stretch of beach highway, police said Wednesday, adding they are close to identifying the other three.

The identified remains are those of Megan Waterman, 22, from Scarborough, Maine, said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer.

Waterman was last seen at a Holiday Inn Express near Exit 56 of the Long Island Expressway on June 6. Her body was found Dec. 13, about 15 miles away.

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The four dead were strewn over a quarter-mile stretch of marshy grasslands, overgrown shrubbery and sea grass on a barrier island.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said the other three bodies would be identified in a "very short period of time." Forensic experts from the New York City medical examiners' office were comparing the remains to DNA samples and medical records collected from families who contacted police after the remains were discovered in December.

Spota said he would not comment on whether police had identified any suspects in the killings. He and Dormer have downplayed speculation that a serial killer was behind the deaths.

Waterman, who advertised her escort services on the online classifieds site Craigslist, was last seen in early June at the hotel, where she went with her boyfriend.

Family members became worried about Waterman after not hearing from her during a trip to New York in early June, her mother, Lorraine Ela, told The Associated Press at the time the bodies were discovered. Waterman always called three times a day to speak to her 4-year-old daughter, Liliana, but the last call came on the night of June 5, she said.

When police searched the hotel room they found Waterman's clothing, makeup, cell phone and other belongings, Ela said.

Ela said police detectives notified her in person on Wednesday.

"They said the DNA was a match and there was an investigation going on," Ela said, adding that police weren't able to tell her anything more.

Although her daughter had been missing for months, word that she was among the victims was a shock, Ela said.

Detectives believe the four victims were killed elsewhere and then taken to the site, a narrow strip of land that divides the Great South Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. A four-lane parkway runs through the middle, connecting Jones Beach State Park with several state- and town-run beaches to its east.


Associated Press Writer Clarke Canfield in Portland, Maine, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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