Authorities have made a significant breakthrough in the case of the “Gilgo Four” murders, with New York architect Rex Heuermann being charged with the murder of three of the four women. Heuermann, 59, was taken into custody in July and has been indicted on multiple counts of first-degree and second-degree murder. He maintains his innocence, according to his attorney. It is also expected that Heuermann will face a fourth murder charge in connection with the 2007 disappearance and death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, although the specific details have not been released. CNN has reached out to various parties involved for comment.
The investigation into Heuermann began in early 2022, and authorities collected DNA samples from his family’s trash to build their case. Heuermann was arrested and entered a not guilty plea through his attorney, and he is set to appear in court on Tuesday.
The Gilgo Beach killings, which shocked the nation, first came to light in 2010 when the remains of Melissa Barthelemy were discovered during a search for another missing woman. The bodies of three more victims – Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Amber Costello, and Megan Waterman – were found two days later. All four women were escorts who had advertised on Craigslist.
The case took a chilling turn when Barthelemy’s family received taunting calls from the suspect, in which he admitted to killing and sexually assaulting her. These calls would play a crucial role in unraveling the case.
In the years that followed, more remains were discovered, including those of a toddler and her mother. The investigation expanded to include multiple agencies, and the police released photos of a belt believed to be connected to the suspect. In 2020, one victim, known as Jane Doe #6, was identified as Valerie Mack using advanced DNA technology.
In 2022, a task force was formed to intensify the search for the killer, leading to Heuermann’s identification as a possible suspect. Investigators surveilled him and his family, collecting DNA samples from discarded items. They also used cell tower records and witness descriptions to narrow down their focus. A search of Heuermann’s computer revealed his obsession with the case and his attempts to track down the victims’ relatives.
As the case against Heuermann progresses, authorities hope to bring justice to the victims and their families, finally closing the chapter on one of the most notorious murder cases in recent memory..