News: News For Another Craigslist Victim
(Long Island, N.Y.)Months before Long Islanders learned about the possible serial killer responsible for the four victims found slain at Gilgo Beach, twenty-six year old Jennifer Papain went missing. The North Patchogue woman was later found north of the service road of the Long Island Expressway in a wooded area near Bellport Road in Medford. Last week her alleged killer was put to trial.
Papain’s murder didn’t catch as much attention as the cases of Megan Waterman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, and Amber Lynn Costello. She didn’t fall at the hand of a serial killer but, like the others, suffered an untimely death after meeting a client through Craigslist’s controversial “adult services” section. She disappeared on the night of March, 24th, 2010.
Like the others, Papain drove to meet her client, and used her father’s car to reach a predetermined spot in Bay Shore. She had a friend wait in the car somewhere along Bay Shore Road and left the vehicle around 5:30pm wearing gray sweatpants and white shirt. According to the friend, she never returned.
Reports say that Papain was strangled after refusing to refund her client $80. In addition to being tried for her murder, the client has also been charged with driving without a license and possession of marijuana. Though he admitted to killing her, he pleaded not guilty at the arraignment after being arrested and brought to the 5th Precinct in Nassau County. He will appear at the 1st District Court of West Islip in Suffolk County.
Being that the case of the four missing women found at Gilgo Beach was not the first Craigslist-related crime to leave a young woman dead on Long Island in 2010, many argue that more should have been done to safeguard users of the website against potential for violence. Since the Gilgo Beach slayings, the site has removed the “adult services” section, but maintains that most users of Craigslist do not pose a risk for violence. Defendants of Craigslist argue that the percentage of violent crimes have been extremely low in comparison to the percentage of non-threatening interactions between users.
Craigslist offers safety tips for all of its users. Most are common sense based, such as meeting strangers in crowded/public areas as opposed to a private residence or secluded setting. Other tips include using the buddy system, keeping friends informed of whereabouts, and following gut feelings/intuitions. The website offers links to further explain safety precautions.
Like the family of Waterman, Papain’s family offered a reward ($1,000) at the time of her disappearance. Police conducting the investigation of the Gilgo Beach victims firmly believe that young women involved in similar business will be their best bet in gathering solid information about the case. Long Island has a history of unidentified remains cases; a memorable case occurred thirteen years ago involving a dismembered woman found on Hempstead’s Lakeside Drive.
As seen in the case of Papain, the Long Island Expressway is a popular dumping ground because of its location in relation to the city and the empty stretches of land just off the highway. The body of twenty-year old Jessica Taylor was found off the Long Island Expressway in Manorville in 2003. She was identified as one of four remains found in the area during a three-year period.
New York State has the third largest number of unidentified human remains on record. As of July, 2010, there were roughly 13,500 national unidentified remains cases; more than half come from New York City, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and two other cities. Only 15% of these cases get entered in the national database and less than 1% of Long Island’s unidentified remains cases remain unidentified.