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Long Island architect charged with murder in Gilgo Beach killings

Authorities connected Rex Heuermann to the crime after matching his DNA from a slice of pizza to genetic material found on one of the victims.
Posted at 12:03 PM, Jul 14, 2023

Rex Heuermann, an architect in Long Island, New York, was arrested and charged Friday with the murders of three people in connection to the case known as the Gilgo Beach murders.

He reportedly lived near the area where the remains of 11 victims were found in 2010 and 2011. Authorities say they were able to connect him to the crime after matching his DNA from pizza he ate to genetic material found on one of the victims.

According to The Associated Press, investigators recovered his DNA from part of a slice of pizza he had eaten and thrown away in a trash can in Manhattan. 

The 13-year-old case has garnered vast public attention over the years and even influenced the popular 2020 Netflix film "Lost Girls."

It all began with the search for 24-year-old sex worker Shannan Gilbert, who had disappeared after leaving a client's house near the seafront town of Gilgo Beach. Although several searches were conducted in the area where she was last seen, her body was not discovered until 18 months after she was reported missing.

During the search for Gilbert, police uncovered the bodies of four additional victims, all of whom also advertised on Craigslist as escorts. Over the next year, the number of victims had climbed to 11, including a man and a toddler.

Suffolk County Police Department

It's a case that has perplexed several homicide investigators and led to few leads over the years. In 2022, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison formed a multi-agency task force consisting of representatives from the FBI, state and local police, in an attempt to finally solve the case.

Heuermann is currently charged in the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello.

Heuermann's lawyer said his client had just learned about the charges Friday morning and told him, "I didn't do this."

A judge has ordered that Heuermann remain in custody without bail.