It was a string of grisly, unsolved murders that captured the general public’s consideration, placing residents of Lengthy Island, New York, on edge.
Now, on Friday, authorities in america have introduced they’ve charged a suspect in not less than three of the deaths, offering attainable solutions to a longstanding thriller.
Investigators have accused Nassau County architect Rex Heuermann, 59, within the killings of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello.
He stays an individual of curiosity in a fourth homicide, that of Maureen Brainard-Barnes. She was discovered certain and hidden within the brush in 2010 subsequent to a seaside freeway.
“Girls and gents, Rex Heuermann is a demon that walks amongst us — a predator that ruined households,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison mentioned. “If not for the members of this activity pressure, he would nonetheless be out on the streets as we speak.”
Defence lawyer Michael Brown, nevertheless, mentioned Heuermann advised him, “I didn’t do that.” Heuermann, by his lawyer, has entered a plea of not responsible.
Given the “excessive depravity” of the case, Suffolk County Decide Richard Ambro ordered Heuermann to be held in jail with out bail.
The investigation started over a decade in the past, in Might 2010, when 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert disappeared after making a panicked name to emergency providers.
“There’s any individual after me,” she mentioned within the recording, as she left a home on Oak Seaside, Lengthy Island, the place she had been employed for intercourse work.
Her disappearance prompted a police search, which stretched on for months. However in December of that yr, on an remoted seaside alongside Lengthy Island’s south shore, an officer got here throughout a set of stays: Barthelemy’s.
Over the following few days, extra our bodies had been found, belonging to Costello, Brainard-Barnes and Waterman. The ladies had been all younger — of their 20s — and all had been employed in intercourse work. Their stays had been discovered wrapped in camouflage burlap-style material.
Because the search continued into 2011, the physique depend would rise to 11, with an extra 4 girls, one man and a toddler discovered. Police have mentioned that they imagine a number of individuals to be accountable.
In response to investigators, Heuermann lived throughout the bay from the Gilgo Seaside crime scene, in an space referred to as Massapequa Park.
Detectives started to deal with him as a suspect in March 2022, after they found he had owned a Chevrolet Avalanche pick-up truck, just like the mannequin a witness had recognized across the time of the disappearances.
A surveillance workforce later that month trailed Heuermann as he threw away some leftover pizza crust whereas in Manhattan. Detectives then collected the crust and swabbed it for DNA, which linked him to hair recovered among the many victims’ our bodies.
Police arrested Heuermann late on Thursday, and by Friday morning, investigators had been sweeping his small purple home in Lengthy Island.
Suffolk County District Legal professional Ray Tierney advised reporters on Friday that Heuermann had “searched obsessively” for info on-line concerning the Gilgo Seaside killings.
Till his arrest, Tierney mentioned the architect used burner telephones to contact intercourse employees. He additionally famous that Heuermann allegedly had permits for 92 weapons.
“This case shouldn’t be over,” Tierney mentioned at Friday’s press convention. “It’s solely starting.”
The Gilgo Seaside murders have drawn widespread public consideration in recent times, within the wake of the Netflix sequence Misplaced Women and true-crime podcasts dissecting the case.
As she visited Lengthy Island on Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul mentioned she hoped the arrest would assist carry closure to the victims’ family members.
“It is a day that’s a very long time in coming and hopefully a day that may carry peace to this group and to the households — peace that has been lengthy overdue,” she mentioned.