Body found in New York is ID’d as Maine woman

Escort missing since last June

By Frank Eltman
Associated Press / January 20, 2011

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YAPHANK, N.Y. — One of four bodies found dumped along a deserted stretch of Long Island beach highway last month was identified as that of a missing Craigslist escort from Maine, and New York authorities said yesterday they were close to identifying the bodies of three other women.

A mystery began to unfold Dec. 11 when police found the first of the bodies steps from Ocean Parkway, a narrow strip of highway that leads to Jones Beach State Park. The other three bodies, including that of the missing Maine woman, were found two days later during a follow-up investigation.

Authorities said the New York City medical examiner’s office had identified the remains as those of Megan Waterman, 22, from Scarborough, Maine. She was last seen June 6 at a Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge, N.Y.

Scarborough Police Chief Robert Moulton said detectives from New York were in Maine yesterday to meet with his detective, as well as Waterman’s mother and grandmother. Moulton said that it was a “sad day,’’ but that the revelation also brings some closure for the family.

“Obviously, you hold out hope in these matters, but we’ve had a sense for a period of time now that this wasn’t going to end well,’’ Moulton said.

Lorraine Ela, the woman’s mother, said police confirmed that her daughter was among the dead. “They said the DNA was a match,’’ Ela said.

Waterman went missing after traveling to New York on Memorial Day weekend with Akeem Cruz, 21, a Brooklyn man described as her boyfriend. Cruz is now serving a 20-month sentence at the Maine Correctional Center for drug trafficking.

Ela told the Associated Press that 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. Police searching the hotel room found Waterman’s clothing, makeup, cellphone, and other belongings, Ela said.

Police were looking for another missing Craigslist escort when they happened upon the bodies near the beach. They have since said that the missing woman, from New Jersey, was not among the dead.

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