12:00 PM EDT, April 13, 2011
Dr. Peter Hackett finds himself in a media firestorm after reportedly being interviewed three times by police investigating the disappearance of hooker Shannan Gilbert.
Gilbert's disappearance triggered the search that has led to the discovery of 10 bodies along the shoreline outside New York City.
Gilbert's mother reportedly claims Hackett called the family just before her disappearance.
"He said he had a halfway house and Shannan was there. She wanted to be off the streets, and he was trying to help her," the mother claims.
But Hackett reportedly denies making the call or ever meeting Gilbert. Police have not called him a suspect or a person of interest.
"There's nothing I can add that the police don't already know and haven't already shared with you," Hackett told the media outside his home.
At a news conference Wednesday one investigator debunked the phone call.
" We had spoken to that individual early on and he's been very cooperative," said the investigator.
Hackett is a former emergency room doctor, and was once the head of the Suffolk County Emergency Medical Services. He was also a police surgeon.
Hackett lives in a gated community of expensive beach homes, which is only about four miles from where divers are searching for more bodies. The divers braved frigid waters as police extended their search for more victims of the Long Island serial killer.
Four bodies were found on a beach in December. Four more were found in recent weeks, then two more sets of human remains at the site just this week.
"Investigators have confirmed to me that the discoveries earlier this week is infact a human skull and also bones," said investigative crime reporter Michelle Sigona.