May 28 (UPI) -- Police in New York on Thursday released the identity of a woman killed during a string of slayings in Long Island 20 years ago.
"For two decades, Valerie Mack's family and friends were left searching for answers and while this is not the outcome they wanted, we hope this brings some sense of peace and closure," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said.
Remains of Mack's body were found near Gilgo Beach in 2011. She was last seen in the area of Port Republic, N.J., in the spring or summer of 2000.
She had been working as an escort in Philadelphia at the time and also went by the name Melissa Taylor.
Advances in DNA technology allowed police to work with the FBI to establish a genealogy profile that led to the identification of Mack as part of an investigation into the deaths of 11 people whose remains were found at Gilgo Beach.
"Valerie Mack's identification is a giant leap forward in this investigation. As detectives relentlessly pursue leads related to her murder, we ask members of the public, friends, family and associates of Valerie Mack to provide whatever information they have about her and the circumstances leading to her death," police said.