The suspect in the Gilgo Beach killings in Long Island was charged with the murder of a fourth victim on Tuesday. On Jan. 16, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office announced that 60-year-old Rex Heuermann, a former architect from Massapequa Park, had been linked to the killing of Maureen Brainard-Barnes through DNA evidence and has been charged with second-degree murder. Defense attorney Michael Brown entered a not guilty plea on Heuermann’s behalf.
Brainard-Barnes was last seen on July 9, 2007, in New York City after checking out from a Super 8 Motel. She was found bound with three leather belts, one of which was used to tie her ankles, and was among three other women found buried in the same desolate, marsh area in Gilgo Beach in Long Island, N.Y., in December 2010, all within about 500 feet of each other. The other victims were previously identified as Amber Costello, Melissa Barthelemy and Megan Waterman. All four women had worked as online sex workers and were missing between 2007-2010. Heuermann, who was previously charged with the murders of Costello, Barthelemy and Waterman in July, has pleaded not guilty to those murders.
Prosecutors claimed in Tuesday’s filing that burner phones were discovered that connected Heuermann to online searches for sex workers as well as porn searches, audio accounts of rape and a search that read: “autopsy photos of female.” He allegedly used the alias “Andy” to communicate with sex workers online. Prosecutors further alleged that Heuermann was alone while his now-estranged wife was out of town with their children when Brainard-Barnes was killed in July 2007. Prosecutors said in the court documents released Tuesday that this fit a pattern of Heuermann being alone during the other alleged murders which granted him “unfettered time to execute his plans for each victim without any fear that his family would uncover or learn of his involvement in these crimes.” Heuermann was allegedly linked to the previous three cases by other burner phones, which were used to arrange meetings with the victims, as well as by a piece of his hair allegedly found at the bottom of a burlap bag used to wrap Waterman’s body. He was also traced to a Chevrolet Avalanche registered to him that was allegedly seen at the time of Costello’s disappearance. In searches, authorities also found evidence that Heuermann was allegedly obsessed with the case and searched for articles about the task force that was formed to investigate the murders. Investigators also allegedly found hundreds of internet searches about raping and torturing women, child porn and rape porn as well as searches for his victims and their families.
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