MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y. – Long Island, New York architect Rex Heuermann was charged with murder in the deaths of three women in the Gilgo Beach serial killer case, court records show.
Heuermann pleaded not guilty to six charges during a Friday afternoon court appearance in Yaphank, New York, after being arrested Thursday evening in Manhattan. He faces charges of three counts of murder in the first degree and three counts of murder in the second degree, according to court documents.
The counts are in related to the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello, three of the victims found in Gilgo Beach in December 2010. Heuermann faces life without parole if convicted.
Investigators are now searching a home in Massapequa Park in Long Island, about a 25-minute drive from where New York authorities discovered 11 sets of human remains strewn along a suburban beach highway in 2010 and 2011. Heuermann’s Manhattan office is also being searched.
“I’ve lived with the Gilgo Beach investigation for my entire tenure as county executive, and I can tell you that during that time, the focus for me, members of our team have been on bringing justice for these victims and closure to these families who have suffered,” Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone told reporters gathered outside the home Friday in Massapequa Park.
“Today’s developments take us a major step forward in doing exactly that,” he said, adding, “I want the public to know the message to the public is that we have never stopped working on this case.”
The law enforcement activity has drawn neighbors out of their homes in the suburban village of Massapequa Park, despite the rainy weather in the area Friday morning.
Heuermann is a married father of two and an architect living on Long Island and working in Manhattan.
“I’m an architect. I’m an architect consultant. I’m a troubleshooter. Born and raised on Long Island. Then working in Manhattan since 1987,” Heuermann says in a February 2022 video interview with Bonjour Realty posted to YouTube. “When a job that should’ve been routine suddenly becomes not routine, I get the phone call.”
Former neighbor Carol Bergen told Fox News Digital on Friday that Heuermann once asked her brother if he cried at their father’s funeral after he died.
Other neighbors in Massapequa Park told Fox News Digital that the man who has lived at the home being examined by police is a “neighborhood creep.” They said police first showed up at the home there Thursday night around 10 p.m. local time.
A neighbor who lives nearby the property told Fox News Digital that the arrest is “just very shocking.
“I live right here. My son goes to the elementary school right over here … it’s just very shocking and scary that this happened so close to home,” she said. “I’m glad they have him in custody, and I hope they figure out what really happened.”
The murders have remained unsolved more than a decade after the search for missing escort Shannan Gilbert, 24, first led police to the bodies of multiple sex workers and other victims east of New York City.
“There’s somebody after me,” Gilbert repeatedly told dispatchers in a call placed at 4:51 a.m. on May 1, 2010, which was released in May. But she did not provide a location more specific than in a house on Long Island, somewhere near Jones Beach.
“Can you trace where I am?” she asked.
“No, I can’t,” the dispatcher replied.
The first victims found after the search for Gilbert began are known as the “Gilgo Four”: Amber Lynn Costello, 27, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, Megan Waterman, 22 and Melissa Barthelemy, 24.
In March 2011, the partial remains of 20-year-old Jessica Taylor were found near Gilgo Beach. Authorities said part of Taylor’s body was discovered eight years earlier and 40 miles away in Manorville, New York.
Days later, three more sets of human remains were discovered alongside Ocean Parkway. The first was 24-year-old Valerie Mack, whose partial remains had also been found in Manorville years earlier. An unidentified toddler was found near Mack, according to the official website dedicated to the case.
Two miles west, police discovered the skeletal remains of an unidentified Asian man — or transgender woman — believed to be 17 to 23 years old.
A week later, in April 2011, two more sets of partial remains were found along Ocean Parkway. The first were those of the woman known as “Peaches,” believed to be the mother of the toddler found the week before. Part of her body had been previously discovered in Hempstead Lake State Park in 1997. The second was the skull of a woman who was linked to remains found on Fire Island in 1996.
Suffolk County Police and prosecutors provideed an update on the Gilgo Beach case late Friday afternoon.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin, Maria Paronich and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.