Melissa Barthelemy was last seen at her residence, a basement apartment at 1149 Underhill Ave. in the Unionport section of the Bronx on July 12, 2009. She was 4 feet 10 inches tall and was 24 years old when she was last seen.
Barthelemy was a sex worker who advertised on Adult Friend Finder as well as other sites. She used the aliases Chloe and VerySexyChloe. She had tattoos of the words “Blaze” and “Focus” on her back, and letters on her chest. She was also known to meet clients at bars, restaurants and hotels on the West Side of Manhattan.
On July 12, 2009, the night that she was last seen, Barthelemy told a friend she was going to see a man and would be back in the morning. This friend was aware she was a sex worker, but Barthelemy offered no other details. Her cellphone records show she traveled from the Bronx to Manhattan, most likely via taxi.
Barthelemy’s mother had not heard from her or been able to contact her for a few days so she reported her missing to the NYPD on July 18, 2009. The investigation showed cellphone activity in Manhattan, Freeport, Massapequa and Lindenhurst. Motels in and near these neighborhoods were investigated.
After Barthelemy had been reported missing, her younger sister received a series of taunting phone calls from someone using Barthelemy’s phone. These calls are believed to have come from the killer and were made from the area near the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Ave., and also from near Penn Station. These areas were thoroughly canvassed immediately following the calls, however, due to the large amount of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, no leads were developed.
On December 11, 2010, Barthelemy’s body was found on the north side of Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach, during the search for Shannan Gilbert.
Although she was the first victim found, she is believed to be the second of the "Gilgo Four" to be killed.
The Suffolk County Police Department remains committed to seeking justice for the victims in these cases. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers has recently announced the reward leading to an arrest in this case has been increased from $25,000 to $50,000.