Shannan Gilbert’s unsolved death uncovered the Gilgo Beach serial killer mystery because of her mother and sisters’ search for the answers. Mari Gilbert’s crusade to find the truth about Shannan’s death is retold in Netflix’s Lost Girls. The movie will also shed light on Mari’s other daughters, Sarra, Sherre, and Stevie. Sadly, Mari died an untimely death before finding justice for her daughter when her younger daughter, Sarra, killed her. What happened to Sarra Gilbert after she killed her mother? We explain the aftermath of Shannan Gilbert’s unsolved death here.
|About Sarra Gilbert
|January 17, 1989
|Sherre Gilbert, Stevie Gilbert Smith, Shannan Maria Gilbert
|2nd Degree Murder
|Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
|Parole Eligibility Date
Sarra Gilbert Grew up in Foster Care
Sarra Gilbert was born on January 17, 1989 to Mari Gilbert and her then-partner. She is one of Mari’s four daughters, including the eldest, Shannan, and the two younger ones, Sherre and Stevie.
When her daughters were young, Jersey City native Mari left her daughters’ father and moved to Ellenville, New York with the girls. Shortly after they moved, Mari was separated from her daughters, who were put into foster care.
Mari succeeded in reuniting with Sherre and Stevie. However, Shannan and Sarra lived in multiple foster homes.
Unlike Shannan’s, Sarra’s life details and history are obscure. She continued to live in Ellenville and had a son with a man named Emmanuel Martinez, who had been in and out of jail.
Sarra Gilbert Killed Mari in 2016
Shannan disappeared in May 2010, and the search for her eventually turned up multiple human remains in a stretch of beach in Long Island. Shannan’s remains wouldn’t be found until December 2011.
While authorities stated that a serial killer was behind the victims discovered in Gilgo Beach, they didn’t believe that Shannan was a victim of this killer. Mari and her surviving daughters disputed the claim that her death was the result of accidental drowning and fought to have her case investigated as a homicide.
They hired John Ray as their attorney to independently investigate Shannan’s death. Ray, Mari Gilbert, and her daughters were often seen in press conferences speaking about Shannan’s case.
In a shocking turn of events, five years after Shannan’s remains were found, Sarra would kill Mari on July 23, 2016. According to reports, Mari was found dead in Sarra’s residence in Ellenville. She was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and fourth-degree possession of a weapon.
Sarra had stabbed Mari 227 times with a 15-inch kitchen knife, hit her with the fire extinguisher, tried to drown her in the extinguisher foam, and attempted to decapitate her. She then stripped her and removed her jewelry.
Sarra Had a History of Mental Illness
Both Shannan and Sarra were diagnosed with mental illnesses during their time in foster care. Shannan had bipolar disorder but later discontinued her medication because of the side effects. Sarra allegedly had schizophrenia, but also suffered mental illnesses from a turbulent childhood.
Sarra had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Ray, who was Sarra’s attorney at her trial, claimed that sexual abuse as a child at the hands of Mari’s former boyfriend, drug use, domestic abuse, and Shannan’s death affected Sarra’s mental health. Before the incident, Sarra had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals seven times.
Stevie Smith, however, took the stand to testify that mental illness had nothing to do with Sarra’s crime. She claimed that Sarra’s drug abuse and “jealousy” towards Mari’s relationship with her other daughters led her to kill her brutally.
According to Stevie, Sarra was enraged at their mother for taking custody of Sarra’s son after a certain incident. In February 2016, Sarra drowned her pet puppy in the bathtub in front of her child and reportedly even tried to “put [her son] to death,” after which Mari took custody of him.
Emmanuel Martinez was in prison at that time. In the past, he had obtained a restraining order against Sarra for her behavior. He testified that she threatened to kill him before they separated.
When Sarra took the stand, she shockingly declared that Mari “got what she deserves.” She believed her mother was “evil” and did black magic.
Sarra also claimed that Emmanuel was her drug supplier. But Martinez claimed that he was in jail for drug possession charges at the time of Mari’s death.
When speaking about the puppy incident, Sarra claimed she thought she was killing the rapper Eminem.
While Ray appealed to the jury that Sarra should be sent to a mental institution, prosecutors claimed she knew what she was doing when she killed Mari. Prosecutors allege Sarra made a premeditated plan to kill Mari, gathering the weapons she would use for the act when she knew Mari would visit her apartment.
Sarra Was Convicted for Mari’s Murder
Sarra was being housed in Ulster County Jail during her trial. In August 2017, a jury found her guilty of Mari’s murder.
The judge sentenced her to 25 years to life in state prison. She is currently being housed in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. However, members of the jury revealed that Sarra would be getting the mental health treatment she needs in prison.
Sarra was not mentioned in Mari’s obituary, though Sherre, Stevie, and Shannan were. After their mother’s death, Sherre and Stevie continue to fight for Shannan’s death to be re-investigated.