Long Island Architect Charged with Gilgo Beach Murders After DNA Match


Long Island Architect Charged with Gilgo Beach Murders After DNA Match

In a major breakthrough in the notorious Gilgo Beach murders case, Rex Heuermann, a 59-year-old Long Island architect, has been charged with murder in connection to three of the 11 victims. Investigators made the breakthrough when they matched DNA from a discarded pizza crust eaten by the suspect to genetic material found on the victims' remains.

Rex Heuermann, a resident near the Gilgo Beach area, stands accused of killing Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello, three of the victims in the case. He is also considered the prime suspect in the death of another woman, whose body was discovered bound and hidden along a remote beach highway.

Previously, investigators had suggested the involvement of multiple individuals in the 11 murders. However, Heuermann became a suspect in March 2022 when detectives connected him to a pickup truck seen by a witness during one of the victims' disappearances in 2010.

In a significant turn of events, investigators collected Heuermann's DNA from a discarded pizza crust found in a Manhattan trash can while they were monitoring him in March. The DNA was subsequently matched to a hair found on one of the restraints used in the killings.

Arraignment and Defense:
During the Friday arraignment at a state court in Riverhead, Heuermann's attorney, Michael Brown, entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. However, Judge Richard Ambro ordered Heuermann to be held without bail, citing the "extreme depravity" of the alleged crimes.

Heuermann, clad in khaki pants and a gray collared shirt, stayed quiet throughout the court proceedings. His attorney, Brown, stated that they were only informed about the charges on Friday morning and conveyed Heuermann's denial, saying, "I didn't do this."

Background and Investigation:
Heuermann resides in Massapequa Park, close to the Gilgo Beach area where the victims' remains were discovered between 2010 and 2011. The victims, primarily young women working as sex workers, had posed a significant challenge for investigators over the years, capturing substantial public attention and inspiring the 2020 Netflix film "Lost Girls."

The Gilgo Beach murders case has proven to be a daunting task for experienced homicide detectives, despite changes in police leadership. To crack the case, a collaborative interagency task force was established last year, bringing together investigators from the FBI, as well as state and local police departments.

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