New York architect charged with murder for Long Island murders

Rex Heuermann, who has been charged with murder in the deaths of three of 11 victims in a series of murders known as the Gilgo Beach murders

Rex Heuermann has been charged with murder in the deaths of three of the 11 victims – Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office

A New York architect has been charged with the murder of three women on Long Island more than a decade ago.

Rex Heuermann, 56, was charged Friday with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Costello, 27.

They are part of the “Gilgo Four”, whose remains were found in December 2010 along Ocean Parkway in Gilgo Beach, Suffolk County.

By the end of 2011, the remains of 11 people – most of whom were young sex workers – had been discovered in the area.

Mr Heuermann was arrested Thursday night after a new investigation linked him to a van that a witness reported seeing when one of the victims disappeared in 2010.

A photo of the scene during the arrest of Rex Heuermann

A photo of the scene during the arrest of Rex Heuermann – AKGS

Pizza box that was tested for DNA evidence appears in bail application

Pizza box that was tested for DNA evidence appears in bail application – SUFFOLK COUNTY COURT

Detectives then compared DNA from a pizza crust he threw away in Manhattan to a male hair found with the bodies, which were tied up and hidden in thick undergrowth along a secluded beach highway , according to a bail application filed in Suffolk County Court.

Investigators were also able to link Mr Heuermann to the burner telephones used to arrange meetings with the murdered women and to the provocative calls that a person claiming to be the killer made to one of Ms Barthelemy’s relatives using his mobile phone after his disappearance in 2009.

The document says that although Mr Heuermann has not been charged with crimes relating to the disappearance and murder of 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes, he is the ‘prime suspect in her death’ and the investigation is ongoing .

Mr. Heuermann’s attorney pleaded not guilty on his behalf in an arraignment Friday in Riverhead State Court.

Judge Richard Ambro ordered that he be jailed without bail, citing the “extreme depravity” of his alleged conduct.

Mr. Heuermann, dressed in khaki pants and a gray collared shirt, did not speak in court.

His attorney, Michael Brown, said he met with his client on Friday morning.

He told reporters outside court that Mr Heuermann, who is married with two children and is a licensed architect with a Manhattan-based firm, cried and told him: ‘I didn’t do that .”

Survey follow-up

In recent months Mr Heuermann has sought to keep tabs on the investigation and has ‘obsessively searched’ the internet 200 times for facts about the Gilgo Beach murders, including the names of the women he is accused of. having killed, as well as podcasts and documentaries about the case. said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney.

Until his arrest, Mr. Heuermann continued to use cell phones, the services of sex workers and to search the Internet for sadistic material, including images of child sexual abuse, Mr. Tierney said. He also had access to 92 handguns.

Crime scene investigators pull evidence from Rex Heuermann's home

Crime scene investigators pull evidence from Rex Heuermann’s home – Anadolu

Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, Mr Tierney said: ‘We knew that person would be watching… we didn’t want him to know how close we were getting.

Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York, said, “It is a day that is long overdue and hopefully a day that will bring peace to this community and families – a peace that is long overdue.

Interagency working group

Last year, an interagency task force was formed with investigators from the FBI, as well as state and local police departments, in an effort to solve the case.

The news of an arrest came as a shock to some of the victims’ relatives after so many years of waiting for a breakthrough.

In a text message, the sister of a victim said her family were not ready to speak out publicly as they “did not have a chance to process the news today”.

“We are happy to see that they are finally active, the police, to achieve something,” said John Ray, the lawyer for the families of the two victims, Shannan Gilbert and Jessica Taylor.

A greater mystery

Ms Gilbert’s disappearance in 2010 sparked the hunt that revealed the greatest mystery.

The sex worker, 24, disappeared after walking from a client’s home in Oak Beach. Months later, a police officer was looking for her body in the thicket along nearby Ocean Parkway when he came across the remains of another woman.

Within days, three more bodies were found, all within walking distance of each other.

By spring 2011, that number had risen to 10 sets of human remains – those of eight women, one man and an infant.

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