Gilgo Beach kills suspect in court as prosecutors tout ‘significant development’ in case

Prosecutors plan to announce a “significant development” Thursday in the case of a New York architect accused of killing four women and leaving their bodies strewn in brush along a coastal highway.

Rex Heuermann, 60, will appear before a judge days after police complete further extensive searches his house in Massapequa Park and one wooded area on Long Island linked to the investigation into a series of deaths known as the Gilgo Beach serial murders.

Suffolk County Prosecutor Ray Tierney did not specify what development he plans to announce or discuss the purpose of Thursday’s hearing.

Since the end of 2010, the police investigated the deaths of at least 10 people – most of them sex workers – whose remains were discovered along a remote highway not far from Gilgo Beach on Long Island’s south shore.

The victims had been missing for at least 14 years. Disgruntled police officers made only halting progress in identifying potential suspects. Investigators have long said it was likely that not all of the deaths were the work of the same killer. Some victims disappeared in the mid-1990s. Investigators concluded that an 11th person missing in 2010 from the barrier island community of Oak Beach had accidentally drowned.

Heuermann, who lived across a bay from where the bodies were found, was arrested last July. Prosecutors said a new investigative task force used cellphone location data and DNA samples to link the architect to some of the victims. He was accused of killing four of the women: Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy, Amber Lynn Costello and Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

Investigators who searched Heuermann’s house extensively and dug up his garden last summer returned to the house again last month and spent Almost a week I’m looking for it again. They focused their efforts primarily in the basement, according to a lawyer for Heuermann’s wife.

This followed a search in April of a Wooded area in Manorvilleabout 40 miles east of Heuermann’s home, linked to two other Gilgo Beach victims.

Valerie Mack, 24, who worked as an escort in Philadelphia, disappeared in 2000 and was last seen by her family in Port Republic, New Jersey. Some of his skeletal remains were discovered that same year in the woods of Manorville. More remains of his wife were found in 2011 during searches around Gilgo Beach.

Originally known as “Jane Doe No. 6”, Mack’s remains were unidentified for years Until genetic testing revealed his identity in 2020.

Jessica Taylor, 20, disappeared in 2003 while working as an escort in New York. Some of his remains were discovered in Manorville that year. More remains were discovered during a 2011 search of beach brush along Ocean Parkway, the road where the other Gilgo Beach victims were found.

Relatives of Mack and Taylor sought comment Wednesday.

Heuermann’s attorney and attorneys separately representing his wife and two adult children declined to comment.

Heuermann, detained since his arrest, has pleaded not guilty. He was due back in court June 18 for a status hearing. No trial date has been set.

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Follow Philippe Marcelo on twitter.com/philmarcelo.

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