Gilgo Beach serial killings suspect Rex Heuermann appears in court Wednesday, as prosecutors say DNA evidence links him to woman he’s accused of killing
Swab Heuermann submitted last month matched DNA from a pizza crust found outside his Midtown Manhattan office in July prosecutors said
DNA sample also matched hair found on body of Gilgo Beach victim, Megan Waterman, who was killed in 2010
Heuermann, 59, is charged with first- and second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of three victims, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Lynn Costello, 27
He is also the suspect of 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes whose body was found along Waterman near Barthelemy’s body
Alleged serial killer, New York architect Rex Heuermann [right] appeared in the Arthur M. Cromarty Criminal Court Wednesday after prosecutors announced DNA evidence has linked him to at least one of the four women he allegedly murdered – all of them sex workers in the New York area
Gilgo Beach serial killings suspect Rex Heuermann appeared in court Wednesday, spoke for the first time since his arrest, as prosecutors said DNA evidence has linked him to a woman he’s accused of killing.
Prosecutors say that a swab Heuermann, 59, submitted last month matched DNA from a pizza crust found outside his Manhattan office in July.
That DNA sample also matched a hair found on the body of Gilgo Beach victim Megan Waterman, who was killed in 2010.
Heuermann is charged with first- and second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of three victims, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Costello, 27.
The seemingly unperturbed suspect, appearing at the Arthur M. Cromarty Criminal Court Wednesday, told a judge he is taking advantage of his reading time in jail.
Heuermann has been held in prison since he was arrested in July. He is charged with first- and second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of three victims, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello
The mystery of the long unsolved case which attracted national headlines for many years and the unsolved killings were the subject of the 2020 Netflix film ‘Lost Girls,’ has drawn immense public attention.
The challenge of resolving the who possibly killed the women has dogged local law enforcement a slew through several changes in leadership.
In 2022, an interagency task force was formed with investigators from the FBI, as well as state and local police departments, aimed at solving the possible case of serial murders in the New York area.
Prosecutors say that a swab submitted last month by murder accused, Rex Heuermann, [center], matched DNA from a pizza crust found outside his Midtown Manhattan office in July
On Wednesday, the defense who in a prior court appearance tendered over 8000 pages of evidence, submitted a further 5000.
The cache of papers included grand jury testimony and exhibits, property warrants, subpoenas, DNA reports, and memo books from officers, after they as carefully combed Heuermann’s home and storage units in the days following his arrest.
Judge Mazzei asked the Heuermann: ‘Have you been taking advantage to review materials in jail?’
The murder suspect answered in the affirmative: ‘Yes.’
The judge asked: ‘For how long a day are they allowing you to do that?’
And Heuermann answered: ‘Up to four hours, and I have been averaging up to two to three hours.’
Suffolk County prosecutors revealed that a swab submitted by Heuermann, matched DNA from pizza crust found outside his Midtown Manhattan office in July
In January, with police surveilling him, police retrieved a pizza box that Heuermann had tossed into a garbage can in Manhattan, the source for the suspect’s DNA
Footage shows the moment New York police closed in and arrested multiple-homicide suspect Rex Heuermann in the street in Manhattan
In January, with police surveilling him, police recovered a pizza box that he had tossed into a garbage can in Manhattan. After his arrest detectives went on to search not only the suspect’s home, they extended the search to two storage units that Heuermann kept in Amityville.
Investigators now say they were able to match the DNA from the leftover pizza with a sample that was taken from the burlap sack that the killer used to conceal Waterman’s body.
The court-ordered DNA swab he gave last week came back as a positive link to the one found in the contents of the pizza box.
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said at a press conference today: ‘The surveillance team had observed the pizza box and were confident that that was the DNA, that the DNA profile would be consistent with the defendant because he left that material inside the box.
‘And so the buccal swab just erases all doubt.’
Rex’s defense attorney Michael Brown speaking outside of court this morning
Michael Brown, Heuermann’s defense attorney, said: ‘There is nobody on the face of the earth that is credible is going to say that hair is my client’s hair.’
‘It’s impossible under science standards. What they can do is say he could potentially be a donor for that hair, but so could thousands and thousands of other people just in our area, so take that for what it’s worth.’
All three women he’s accused of murdering were found in 2010 wrapped in burlap off Ocean Parkway near Gilgo State Park just minutes from the 59-year-old father of two’s house.
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney looks on during Rex Heuerman’s court appearance at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Wednesday, September 27, 2023
The Rex Heuermann serial murders story, courtesy of CBS
Authorities said he’s also the ‘prime suspect’ in the killing of Maureen Brainard-Barnes and as of last week he is not being investigated in connection with the 1989 murder of sex worker Carmen Vargas.
Heuermann’s dramatic arrest outside his offices in Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on July 13 came as a result of a decade-long hunt for the infamous Gilgo Bach serial killer.
He counted Nike, American Airlines and Target as clients during his three-decade architecture career, while allegedly also strangling three women and taunting their families with phone calls – often allegedly made from his New York office.
First victim, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, [bottom left], was discovered on December 11, 2010 and Megan Waterman, 22, [top left], two days later. Maureen Brainard-Barnes [top right], 25 and Amber Lynn Costello [bottom right], 27, were found same day near Barthelemy. Heuermann is charged with the deaths of Barthelemy, Waterman and Costello
The first set of remains, belonging to Melissa Barthelemy, 24, were found along the strip of coastline in December 2010, during a search for another missing woman, Shannan Gilbert, 23.
Two days later, cops realized they may have a manic serial killer on their hands when three additional sets of remains – Brainard-Barnes, Costello and Waterman – were discovered along the same area.
The bodies were found along a half-mile stretch on Gilgo Beach, where several other bodies have been found – some of which police are yet to determine if Heuermann is involved.
The remains of the three women Heuermann has been charged with their murder, as well the fourth he is suspected of killing, were all found wrapped in camouflaged burlap. All worked as escorts on Craigslist, officials said.