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An aerial view of the area near Gilgo Beach where police have been conducting a prolonged search after finding ten sets of human remains on April 15, 2011 in Wantagh, New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Gilgo Beach Murders Suspect Arrested

On Friday, July 14, New York architect Rex Heuermann was charged with murder following evidence of a connection to the killings of three women in 2010. The bodies of the women, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello, were found over a decade ago along Gilgo Beach in New York. A fourth body was found, Maureen Brainard-Barne. Heuermann is the prime suspect but has not yet been charged. The four women became known as the “Gilgo Four.”

The women worked as escorts in NYC and went missing between July 2007 and September 2010. Melissa Barthelemy was the first to be found. After her disappearance, her family received taunting calls from the killer. Within the next year, ten more bodies would be found in areas near the beach. 

In 2022, a task force was formed by Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison to investigate the killings. The Suffolk County Police Department, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, and the FBI were all involved. Heuermann was first listed as a possible suspect in March 2022. Investigators began to closely monitor Heuermann and his family and take DNA samples from his garbage. They utilized cell tower records as well as physical descriptions given by witnesses. Further searches showed that Heuermann actively kept up with the progress of the investigation and tried to track down relatives of his victims.

Earlier this year, a complete sample of Heuermann’s DNA on a leftover crust in a pizza box was discovered. The sample matched with a hair sample found on one of the victims. On July 13, a suspect connected to the murders was taken into custody. The next day, the suspect was identified as Heuermann.

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