May 24, 2024

Police expected to identify another victim in Gilgo Beach killings, source says

Police are expected to identify another victim in the notorious Gilgo Beach killings on Friday, a senior law enforcement source told NBC New York

A news conference will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. ET regarding an update in the ongoing investigation by the Gilgo Beach Homicide Investigation Task Force. Police did not immediately respond to a request from NBC News seeking more information on the news conference.

Eleven sets of human remains were found in or near Ocean Parkway on Long Island since 2010. While most of the remains have been identified, some have yet to be named.

The victim expected to be identified Friday appears to be the woman police have referred to as “Jane Doe Seven.”

Human remains of Jane Doe Seven were located in Davis Park on Fire Island in 1996. DNA later linked these remains to another set of remains located on April 11, 2011, along Ocean Parkway, in Nassau County, according to a Suffolk County police timeline of the case.

Authorities continue to work at the home, bottom right, of suspect Rex Heuermann in Massapequa Park, N.Y. on July 24, 2023.Seth Wenig / AP

For years, the discovery of the remains of multiple sex workers around Gilgo Beach left the Long Island community on edge.

After over a decade of investigation, Rex Heuermann was arrested on July 13, charged with three counts of murder in the deaths of three women — Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Lynn Costello, 27. He was also said to be the prime suspect in the disappearance of a fourth woman: 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who vanished in 2007. The group of women were known as the “Gilgo Four.”

The victims were all believed to have been sex workers who advertised on online sites, according to police.

Heuermann, a 59-year-old Manhattan architect, has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held without bail.

Prosecutors requested in a Tuesday filing that Heuermann provide buccal samples, which would “provide further relevant evidence of the defendant’s identity as the perpetrator of the crime” and to compare to DNA retrieved from the crime scenes.

Investigators have said that DNA taken from discarded pizza allegedly tied Heuermann to a male hair that was found on a burlap material used to wrap Waterman’s body.

Heuermann appeared in court in Riverhead, New York on Tuesday. His attorney, Michael Brown, said: “We will defend this case in the court of law and we will go to trial in this case.”

Brown previously said his client is “a man who has never been arrested before. He’s maintained his innocence from the inception of this case.”

The next pre-trial conference hearing will be Sept. 27.

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