Pizza Crust Key in Gilgo Beach Murder Suspect’s Capture Amidst Alleged Taunts to Victim’s Family

Man charged in Gilgo Beach killings on Long Island, New York, after a decade-long mystery.

Rex Heuermann, a 59-year-old architect from Massapequa Park in Nassau County, who is married with two children, was charged with murder in the deaths of Amber Costello, Megan Waterman, and  Melissa Barthelemy on Friday, July 14.

According to the Suffolk County DA’s Office, he is also the main suspect in Maureen Brainard-Barnes’ murder and disappearance, even though he has not yet been charged.

Reopened Cold Case

Cold case revived by joint task force of Suffolk County Police Department, FBI, district attorney’s office, and sheriff’s office in January 2022. 

Breakthrough in March links Chevrolet Avalanche, registered to suspect Heuermann, to Amber Costello’s killer. Over 300 subpoenas, search warrants used for evidence collection.

All four of the victims, who were at the time working as sex workers, had communication with so-called burner mobile phones, which are prepaid and untraceable, according to an analysis of the victims’ cell phone data.

Investigators connected Heuermann’s mobile phone billing records to the locations of the same burner phones that were allegedly used to schedule appointments with three of the victims.

Heuermann called Barthelemy’s relatives 5 times, left insulting messages, and used her phone to check voicemail, as per police. He allegedly confessed to killing and assaulting her during the call.

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Arrest Due To Pizza Crust

Man charged in Gilgo Beach killings on Long Island, New York, after a decade-long mystery.

In January 2023, Heuermann threw a pizza box into a garbage bin in Manhattan. Prosecutors claim that a team of investigators seized the box and discovered a partly consumed pizza crust.

The crust was transferred to the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory, where it was confirmed that the DNA on it matched DNA found on the camouflage burlap used to restrain Waterman.

Police found female DNA on bottles outside Heuermann’s home, matching the victims’ DNA. It belonged to his wife, who was out of the state during the killings.

Heuermann was arrested by Suffolk County Police on July 13. Charged with three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder, and more charges possible.

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