The architect accused of killing three Gilgo Beach victims is accused of complicity in the crime with a burner phone, fake email address, a Tinder account and a pizza.
Rex Heuerman, 59, of Massapequa Park, Long Island, has lived for decades across the bay from where the remains of the Gilgo Beach victims were found.
He is charged with first and second degree murder in the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello. Authorities say he is the ‘prime suspect’ in another murder.
In documents filed in Suffolk County Court, it was revealed in March 2022 that homicide investigators linked a Chevrolet Avalanche to Costello’s murder after a witness saw the vehicle in the area.
From there, police were able to link that car to Human’s cellphone records, which tied him to a location related to the murder, which ultimately led to a DNA sample.
Police say Heuerman used Melissa Barthelemy’s phone to make harassing calls to her family from the victim’s phone, with the calls being made from his Manhattan office.
After Heuerman was identified as the owner of the Chevrolet, police issued more than 300 subpoenas, search warrants and other legal processes to obtain more evidence.
Rex Heuerman is featured in his Tinder profile picture. Police tracked down the fictitious email account used in his profile and his burner phone number in the case
In January of this year, after watching Heuerman and his family since last March, detectives on the case seized a pizza box that he had trashed outside his Manhattan office.
Heuerman was shown buying extra minutes for another burner cellphone in May of this year. He paid in cash
Through Human’s American Express records, police were able to link him to a Tinder account where he used a pseudonym, his middle name, Andy. That account was linked to one of his many burner phones.
He was also associated with an email account called John Springfield.
As recently as this year, officials say one of her phones was used ‘extensively for prostitution-related communications’ with sex workers and massage parlors.
In May 2023, Heuerman was photographed entering a T-Mobile store in Manhattan to add minutes to a Burner phone.
Five months ago, with investigators on his tail, officers recovered a pizza box that had been dumped by the suspect in a Manhattan garbage can. The killer was able to match DNA from the leftover pie with a sample taken from the burlap sack used to hide Waterman’s body.
Police say Berner’s cell phone and the victims’ phones placed Heuerman in the area where the victims were made at the time of their disappearance and around his midtown Manhattan office, including the Barthelemy call.
In separate calls to Barthelemy’s family members over a month between July and August 2007, a male voice confessed to killing and sexually abusing her, from the victim’s phone.
In August 2009, while Heuermann was in Iceland with his wife, Barthelemy’s phone activity stopped, only to resume the day after he returned.
Authorities also used cell phone records to show Heuerman’s wife was in Maryland at the time of her June 2010 disappearance and in New Jersey at the time of Amber Costello’s disappearance in September 2010.
Text messages backing up a witness statement in cell phone records show the suspect was the victim of a nasty exchange between Costello and a man pretending to be her angry boyfriend, the pair swindled Heuerman out of money he was going to use to pay for sex.
A person who witnessed that interaction said they saw John driving a Chevrolet Avalanche.
A pizza box taken from a trash can outside Heuermann’s midtown office
These are some of the searches conducted on human computers
A day later, Heuerman began making arrangements to meet with Costello again but said she would not go to his house because of her boyfriend.
Cell tower data shows that Heuerman’s actual cellphone and digital American Express records show that both of these were active in the area where Berner’s cellphones were used to contact Barthelemy, Waterman and Costello.
The credit card and actual cellphone were not separate from the burner when used, police said. Most of the calls were made within a few hundred feet of his office, not far from the Empire State Building.
One of the burners Heuerman used showed highly sexually graphic Internet searches for sexual assault and torture.
An email address used by Heuerman saw him regularly Google searches for updates on the Long Island serial killer case, including podcasts and documentaries.
The case attracted wide public attention. The mystery attracted national headlines for years, and the unsolved murders were the subject of the 2020 Netflix film Lost Girls.
Determining who killed them and why has troubled many seasoned homicide detectives through several changes in police leadership. Last year, an interagency task force was formed with investigators from the FBI, as well as state and local police departments, to solve the case.
Heuerman, married with two children, is a licensed architect for a small Manhattan-based firm that has done store buildouts and other renovations for major retailers, offices and apartments, according to its website.
Long Island serial killer suspect Rex Heuerman is being arraigned this afternoon. Photo: NBC
The suspect’s home sits directly north of Gilgo Beach across South Oyster Bay
Last year, law enforcement agencies on Long Island formed a Gilgo Beach Task Force, showing Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison had a renewed commitment to solving the murder.
‘We are happy that they are finally active, the police, in achieving something. Let’s wait and see what it leads to,’ said John Ray, the attorney for the families of the two women whose remains were found, Shannon Gilbert and Jessica Taylor.
Gilbert’s disappearance in 2010 sparked a hunt that unraveled a larger mystery. A 24-year-old sex worker, she walked from a client’s oceanfront home in Oak Beach and disappeared into the marsh.
Months later, a police officer and his dead dog were searching for her body in the bushes along nearby Ocean Parkway when they happened upon the remains of a different woman. Within days, three other bodies were found, all within a short walk of each other.
By the spring of 2011, that number had reached 10 sets of human remains — including eight women, one man and one child. Some were later paired with body parts found elsewhere on Long Island, creating a staggering crime scene that stretched from a park near the New York City border to a resort community on Fire Island and as far east as Long Island.
Gilbert’s body was found in December 2011, about 3 miles east of where the other 10 sets were discovered.
Speaking about the bodies near Gilgo Beach, investigators have said for years that one man killed all the victims.
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