Las Vegas Police Investigate Whether Suspect In Gilgo Beach Serial Murders Has Any Connection To City Cold Cases

Las Vegas Police Investigate Whether Suspect In Gilgo Beach Serial Murders Has Any Connection To City Cold Cases

Authorities continue to work on the Gilgo Beach serial murder 2:24

(WABNEWS) — Investigations into Gilgo Beach serial murder suspect Rex Heuermann are now sweeping across the country as investigators examine his connections to Las Vegas and South Carolina, where the suspect owns property.

Las Vegas police are reviewing their cold case list for any signs that Heuermann may have been involved, a spokesperson for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed in a statement.


Although Heuermann lived on Long Island, New York, he and his wife bought two time-share condos in Las Vegas between 2003 and 2005, according to property records obtained by WABNEWS. The couple have since sold the first property, records show, and it’s unclear if they still own the second.

The 59-year-old architect and father of two was arrested last week in New York City and charged with the murders of three of the “Gilgo Four,” a group of four women whose remains were found along a short stretch of Long Island’s Gilgo Beach in 2010.

Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello. He remains the prime suspect in the murder of the fourth victim, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, but has not yet been charged in the case.

Melissa Barthelemy, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Amber Lynn Costello and Megan Waterman Credit: Suffolk County Police Department

As authorities search Heuermann’s home, office and storage unit, they are operating on the assumption that the suspect may have continued his alleged killing spree after the bodies of the Gilgo Four were discovered, he told WABNEWS a source familiar with the case.

The sheriff’s office in Chester County, northern South Carolina, where tax records show Heuermann owns four large parcels of land, says it has been collecting evidence for the Gilgo Beach investigative task force since before. of the arrest of the suspect.

Authorities were seen towing a truck belonging to Heuermann’s brother late last week, according to neighbor Steve Caston, who lives on a gravel road adjacent to land owned by Heuermann. Caston described officers lined up with “assault rifles” and “the whole nine yards” as the vehicle was being impounded, but said the scene was “pretty quiet” with no “howling, no yelling.”

A Chevy Avalanche pickup seized from the property is being searched for evidence, sources told WABNEWS.

FBI investigators were also seen speaking with neighbors in the rural South Carolina neighborhood on Tuesday. As a WABNEWS crew spoke with Caston at his home, two men in plain clothes approached him, identifying themselves as FBI agents and asking the neighbor to contact them later that day.

The multi-agency cold case task force is “actively investigating” whether Heuermann may have had more alleged victims as they pore over a deluge of leads and new evidence, Suffolk County Police Deputy Commissioner Anthony Carter said Monday. .

Heuermann’s family was stunned when authorities informed them of the gruesome allegations against them, Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said Monday. “They were upset. They were embarrassed,” he said.

“So if you ask me, I don’t think they knew about this double life that Heuermann was living,” the investigator said.

A long-dormant investigation receives an avalanche of evidence

Authorities remove evidence from the Massapequa Park, Long Island, home of suspect Rex Heuermann on Tuesday, July 18. (Credit: John Minchillo/AP)

As investigators search Heuermann’s home, they are primarily focused on gathering forensic evidence, but are also looking for things that could be saved memorabilia from the murders, including items that are hidden or stored where family members would not find them, according to a source with knowledge of the case.

Any items found will need to be shown to the victims’ relatives and friends, a process that could take some time, the source said.

A search of the home so far has revealed a cache of between 200 and 300 firearms stored in a vault behind a locked metal door, far more than the 92 firearms authorities knew Heuermann had searched at the state, the source said.

Prosecutors have detailed a lot of tests used to link Heuermann to at least three of the Gilgo Four murders, including credit card bills, mobile phone data and DNA evidence.

The bodies of the four women were found among a series of 11 sets of human remains found scattered along Long Island’s south shore between 2010 and 2011, sparking what police have called “one of the most significant homicide investigations” in the island’s history.

This was the investigation for the crimes of Gilgo Beach

Striking similarities emerged between the cases of the four women. Each of the remains had been wrapped in camouflaged burlap and hidden along the same 400-meter stretch of Ocean Parkway, authorities said. The women, who disappeared between 2007 and 2010, worked as escorts and advertised their services on Craigslist, according to police.

But it took investigators more than a decade to compare DNA from a male hair found in the burlap wrapper with a sample of Heuermann’s DNA surreptitiously collected from a pizza crust the suspect tossed away after the cases were reopened, according to the court. District Attorney Ray Tierney, Suffolk County.

Authorities have said the killer used disposable phones to communicate with the victims and investigators were able to use cell phone and credit card records to identify several instances in which Heuermann was at the general location when the phones were used to call the victims, according to the bail request.

Although prosecutors have said Heuermann is the prime suspect in the fourth Brainard-Barnes murder, Police Commissioner Harrison said Monday that filing charges in that case could “take a little bit of time.” A hair follicle that investigators have as evidence is due for DNA testing, but it has been damaged, he said.

In the meantime, he said: “it is very good that we have gotten this animal off the streets.”

— WABNEWS’s Scott Glover, Jeff Winter, Dianne Gallagher, Wes Bruer, Lauren Mascarenhas, John Miller and Samantha Beech contributed to this report.



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