The wife of a Long Island architect was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murdering a string of women who filed for divorce on Wednesday.
Asa Ellerup, 59, was married to Rex Heuerman, 59, for decades, and the couple raised two grown children.
He immigrated to the United States from Iceland as a child and grew up near Heuerman, Long Island.
Ellarup was away when the women were killed, and neighbors said they were rarely seen together.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said Ellarup and the two children were ‘upset’ and ’embarrassed’ by his arrest.
On Wednesday, Ellerup filed a matrimonial complaint in Suffolk County Superior Court.
Asa Ellarup was born in Iceland but moved to the United States as a child and married Rex Heuerman 20 years ago. They have two grown children. He filed for divorce on Wednesday
Rex Heuerman, 59, was arrested Thursday outside his Manhattan architect firm and charged Friday with the three women’s murders. He is the fourth prime suspect
Investigators remove items from the Heuermann-Ellerup home on Long Island, pictured Saturday.
Under New York state law, all divorce filings are sealed from public scrutiny, but the case and party names are docketed and posted.
Asa Ellerup vs. Rex Heuemann is listed as an ‘uncontested’ matrimonial filing on Wednesday, with a complaint, summons and ‘notice of continuation of health care coverage’ filed and processed — though not made public.
The filing was first reported by The Daily Beast.
Ellerup attended Farmingdale High School and was briefly married at age 20, divorcing in the early 1990s in Queens.
It is unclear whether she had a professional life outside the home.
Their daughter Victoria, 26, worked with her father.
Their son has not been identified.
The family kept to themselves and neighbors said no one remembered being invited to their home.
Asa was last seen standing by her husband’s side on July 14 when he pleaded not guilty to murder.
Ellarup’s sister Johanna Ellarup, a pharmacist who lives seven miles from their Long Island home, told Newstimesuk.com on Tuesday that they did not know where he was.
Their mother is dead, and their father still lives in the house where Asa and Johanna Ellarup grew up.
‘We haven’t heard from him, we don’t have his address,’ said Johanna Ellarup.
‘We know nothing.’
She added that her father is elderly and it is overwhelming for her.’
‘True, I swear we know less than you,’ said Johanna.
‘We know nothing. We know nothing.’
Asa Ellarup was reportedly traveling at the time of the murders of Megan Waterman, Amber Costello and Melissa Barthelemy, whose bodies were dumped on Gilgo Beach.
Dr. Johanna Ellarup, a pharmacist who lives just seven miles from the Long Island home Rex Heuermann shares with his sister, Heuermann’s wife, said she hasn’t heard from him.
An elderly man believed to be Asa Ellarup’s father Frode was seen at Johanna’s house
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said he does not believe Heuerman’s family was aware of his double life. His daughter Victoria is pictured
The first victim, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, was discovered by Suffolk County police on Dec. 11, 2010. Megan Waterman, 22, was found two days later.
Maureen Brainard-Barnes was 25 when she disappeared (left). Amber Lynn Costello was 27 years old. Their bodies were found near Barthelemy on the same day
At the IGA supermarket in Massapequa where Asa and her children often shopped, the cashiers knew them as a quiet, cheerful family.
And although Asa visited the store several times a week, they said Heuermann never visited with her and their children.
Store manager Mary Salmeri told the New York Times, ‘He never came with them.
‘I’m not sure what that says about them.’
She added that Ellerup often appeared depressed, and the family would use food stamps to pay for their groceries.
On Monday night, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said he did not believe Human’s family was aware of his alleged crimes.
He described to CNN’s Erin Barnett how the family reacted to the news that he had been arrested and charged with the murders of three sex workers, whose bodies were found in burlap sacks on the beach.
He is the primary suspect in the fourth murder.
‘They were upset. They were embarrassed,’ said Harrison.
‘So if you ask me, I don’t believe they knew about this double life that Heuermann was living.’
Heuerman was arrested Thursday night for the murder. Police are investigating whether he is involved in any other unsolved crimes
A member of the crime lab was seen examining items outside Human’s Massapequa home on Tuesday
Police were on the scene Tuesday at Heuerman’s Long Island home
First look at Gilgo Murders suspect Rex Heuerman as he is led into court from the Suffolk Police 7th Precinct. Charges will be made public soon pic.twitter.com/BmysKoGzEy
— GREG CERGOL4NY (@GREGCERGOL4NY) July 14, 2023
Prosecutors said Heuerman, 59, strangled Megan Waterman, Amber Costello and Melissa Barthelemy in 2010 and dumped their bodies in burlap sacks on the beach.
He is also considered the prime suspect in the death of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, whose body was found wrapped and hidden in thick underbrush along a remote beach highway, authorities said.
At the time of this alleged murder, Asa was visiting Maryland, New Jersey and Iceland.
Travel records show Asa traveled to Iceland on July 8, 2009 and remained in his country until August.
Meanwhile, victim and sex worker Melissa Barthelemy was last seen at her Bronx home on July 12, 2009.
Later that month, her sister Amanda Barthelemy reported receiving a series of ‘obscene, mocking and abusive’ calls from a man using Melissa Barthelemy’s cell phone.
The caller finally tells Amanda that her sister is dead.
Police first searched Rex Heuerman’s home after his arrest on July 13, 2023.
Investigators are looking for any ‘trophies’ left at Heuerman’s home from his alleged victims
Neighbors described Asha and her children as a quiet, cheerful family
New York State Police officers are seen carrying large amounts of evidence outside the home of Rex Heuerman in Massapequa Park, N.Y., Monday afternoon, July 17, 2023.
Heuerman was also charged with the murder of 22-year-old prostitute Megan Waterman, who was last seen on June 6, 2010.
Records suggest his phone likely traveled to Massapequa Park and the location of the cell site was near Human’s home.
Ellarup was in Maryland during this period, traveling from New York on July 4, 2010, and returning four days later, according to cellphone billing records.
Amber Costello, a 27-year-old who also works as a sex worker, was last seen by acquaintances on September 2, 2010.
Ellarup was traveling again, leaving home on Aug. 28, 2010, and returning from New Jersey on Sept. 5, 2010, billing records show, according to court documents.
The remains of Megan Waterman and Amber Costello were found within 500 feet of each other on December 13, 2010, along with Maureen Brainard-Barnes as police searched for missing sex worker Shannon Gilbert.
On Thursday night, Long Island serial killer suspect Rex Heuerman walked nonchalantly through the streets of midtown Manhattan before being arrested.
For 13 years, the murder investigation went cold.
In an attempt to revive attention to the case that year, police released photos of a black leather belt found at the crime scene – which they believe was carried by the suspected serial killer. The belt appears to have embossed initials, WH or HM.
Police have created a website specifically for the investigation to finally solve the cold case for which no arrests have been made.
In 2021, there was renewed interest in the case after Suffolk County Police Commissioner, Raymond Harris, was appointed police commissioner.
He vowed to revive the dormant investigation at a news conference last year, saying, ‘I believe this case is solvable, and identifying the person or persons responsible for this murder is a top priority.’
The Suffolk DA announced at the time that he would set up a task force to investigate the cold case.
That coalition eventually came across Heuerman’s name, raising questions about why previous investigative units had failed to nail him.
In addition to his cluttered home, Heuerman kept two storage units in Amityville that were searched
Prosecutors now say Heuerman was driving the same car a witness saw in a 2009 homicide.
Investigators were then able to link that vehicle to Human’s cellphone records, which linked him to locations related to the murder.
He allegedly conducted at least 200 searches for information about the Gilgo Beach murder investigation and compulsively searched for victims and their families.
Eventually, police were able to match his DNA from a slice of pizza to a corpse.
Police say Heuerman also used Melissa Barthélemy’s phone to make harassing phone calls to her family from the victim’s phone, calls that were 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.
He is now being investigated for other unsolved crimes in the area.
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