Suspect Arrested in Gilgo Seaside Serial Killings

A person has been arrested in a sequence of killings of ladies close to Gilgo Seaside on Lengthy Island’s South Shore, legislation enforcement officers stated on Friday.

Rex Heuermann, an architect who had lived most of his life in Nassau County and labored in Manhattan, was taken into custody in reference to not less than a few of the killings, stated an official with data of the case.

By Friday morning, cops had cordoned off his house, a small, one-story home with pale pink paint, on a block of First Avenue in Massapequa Park, the place automobiles and officers converged on the scene.

The authorities made the arrest in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday night time, stated Rodney Harrison, the Suffolk County police commissioner, throughout a short information convention outdoors the home late Friday morning. The suspect was anticipated to be indicted Friday afternoon, stated Commissioner Harrison, who didn’t identify the individual arrested.

“The nonstop dogged willpower” of a number of companies led to the arrest, stated Steve Bellone, the Suffolk County govt, including that he hoped it might carry “justice for these victims and closure for these households who’ve suffered.”

The killings terrorized residents for greater than a decade as physique after physique was found within the distant space about 40 miles from Midtown. In all, stays of 9 girls, a person and a toddler had been found within the space. For years, investigators have probed whether or not the killings had been dedicated by one individual or by a number of killers.

“The work is just not performed, however this can be a main, main step ahead,” Mr. Bellone stated.

Mr. Heuermann lived most, if not all, of his life in Massapequa Park, a tidy working-class suburb roughly an hour by prepare or automobile from Midtown Manhattan. Neighbors described him as an “common” man who walked to the Massapequa Park prepare station day-after-day, carrying a go well with and toting a briefcase.

“Seeing him stroll to the prepare, you’d by no means suppose he was something however a businessman,” stated a neighbor, Barry Auslander.

“After listening to about this case for therefore a few years, it’s a shock,” stated a neighbor, Cheryl Lombardi.

Nobody answered the cellphone at Mr. Heuermann’s agency, RH Consultants and Associates, on Friday morning. An e-mail in search of remark was not instantly returned.

Mr. Heuermann described himself in a February 2022 interview as an architect and an architectural guide who carefully learn constructing and administrative codes and stored an “intensive library of out of date books.”

“I’m a troubleshooter, born and raised on Lengthy Island, been working in Manhattan since 1987 — very very long time,” he stated within the 18-and-a-half-minute interview with Antoine Amira, an actual property agent and host of a present referred to as Bonjour Realty on YouTube.

It was not identified on Friday how most of the killings had been linked to Mr. Heuermann.

One of many first deaths that got here to mild was in Could 2010, when Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old from Jersey Metropolis, N.J., who labored as a prostitute, was reported lacking on Lengthy Island. She disappeared throughout an escort job in Oak Seaside, a gated neighborhood three miles from Gilgo Seaside.

Seven months later, Suffolk County police found 4 our bodies wrapped in burlap alongside Ocean Parkway, three miles from the place Ms. Gilbert was final seen alive. In 2011, they had been recognized by DNA as Amber Lynn Costello, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Megan Waterman and Melissa Barthelemy. All had been of their 20s and dealing as escorts. Later that yr, they discovered stays of Valerie Mack, a 24-year-old mom from southern New Jersey who had paid the payments as an escort and had been lacking for 20 years.

Ms. Gilbert’s stays had been present in December 2011, however investigators have stated they don’t imagine her demise is linked to the serial killer. Ms. Gilbert’s household has disagreed and demanded the discharge of extra proof.

The police have stated they imagine a few of the deaths had been the work of a serial killer, however the investigation bore little fruit for years.

In 2020, investigators at a information convention revealed {a photograph} of what they stated was a major piece of proof collected early within the investigation: a black leather-based belt, embossed with a pair of letters about half an inch tall. Investigators stated it spells out the initials “W H” or “H M.”

Neighbors of Mr. Heuermann stated he attended Alfred G. Berner Excessive College and lived in his longtime household house, which had vegetation on a roof that was partly supported by naked wooden. With its cracked and pale shingles and unkempt yard, the small home stood out from the neatly stored houses on the block.

Different neighbors stated folks on the block averted the home on holidays like Halloween as a result of it was unkempt and nobody knew the residents.

Within the interview with Mr. Amira, Mr. Heuermann stated his father was an aerospace engineer who helped construct satellites and crafted furnishings at house. Mr. Heuermann stated he additionally constructed furnishings out of a workshop at his home.

Sitting at a desk and wearing a light-weight blue button-down shirt, Mr. Heuermann described the “persistence” and “tolerance” wanted to take care of out-of-town architects intimidated by New York’s byzantine constructing rules.

His job, he stated, taught him extra about “methods to perceive folks.”

On the finish of the interview, Mr. Amira requested Mr. Heuermann to pose for a selfie. Mr. Heuermann, a tall, heavyset man who towered over Mr. Amira, placed on a pair of black sun shades.

“Are you able to smile?” Mr. Amira requested.

“That’s,” Mr. Heuermann replied.

Joseph Goldstein Andy Newman and Ellen Yan contributed reporting.