Police in New York have asked the FBI for help investigating a possible serial killer who preyed on prostitutes and left their bodies strewn along a Long Island beach, nearly five years after the first remains were discovered, officials said on Thursday.

Ten sets of human remains have been found spread over an isolated stretch of Gilgo Beach, about 40 miles east of New York City, since Suffolk County police began their investigation in December 2010.

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Some of the bodies were wrapped in burlap sacks and five of the victims were identified as missing prostitutes who had advertised for clients on the Internet, including Craigslist, police have said.

The remains were linked to eight women, one man and a toddler girl.

There have been no arrests and police have speculated that one person might be responsible for all the murders.

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Suffolk County authorities said on Thursday they were dedicated to solving the case and had asked the FBI to play a more prominent role in the investigation.

"Rest assured this case remains active," Suffolk County Deputy Police Commissioner Tim Sini told a news conference.

The investigation into a possible serial killer was prompted by the search for Shannan Gilbert, a New Jersey prostitute who went missing on Long Island in May 2010. Police found her body more than a year later.

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As authorities searched for the missing woman in December 2010, they found human remains of several women clustered within 500 feet near the waterfront.

Police have said the victims were killed at another location and their bodies were transported to Gilgo Beach.