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14 Jul, 2023 19:50

Suspected ‘Long Island Serial Killer’ charged

The remains of at least 11 people, mostly sex workers, were found in a remote area in Long Island more than a decade ago
Suspected ‘Long Island Serial Killer’ charged

New York City architect Rex Heuermann, 59, was arrested on Thursday by Suffolk County Police in connection with a string of unsolved murders in nearby Long Island which have puzzled investigators for more than a decade. 

The remains of at least eleven people, many of whom were sex workers, were found in 2010 and 2011 in an isolated area at Gilgo Beach, around 40 miles east of New York City in a case which drew widespread media coverage. The subject was the topic of a 2020 Netflix film, ‘Lost Girls.’ 

Heuermann, a married father-of-two, was not initially named by authorities but his identity has been reported by both NBC and the New York Times, citing law enforcement officials. It was reported that he was arrested at his architectural firm’s office in Manhattan. 

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said that the police investigation had attempted to bring “justice for these victims and closure to the families who have suffered.” He added: “Today’s developments take us a major step forward in doing exactly that.” 

Thursday’s arrest follows the launch of a task force in February 2022 by Suffolk County Police to add further investigative power to the so-called Gilgo Beach murders. Police initially determined that there may have been an active serial killer during a search for a sex worker, Shannan Gilbert, who disappeared in 2010 after meeting a client. 

She reportedly made a 22-minute call to police, during which she said: “They are trying to kill me.” Police found her remains in a marshy area at Gilgo Beach – where they also discovered the bodies of four other women. Six more sets of remains were also subsequently found. A man and a female toddler were also among the presumed victims. 

Heuermann’s home in Massapequa Park, around a 25-minute drive from where the bodies were discovered, was searched by authorities on Friday, Fox News reported. The same outlet also said that locals described him as being the “neighborhood creep.” 

At an arraignment in Yaphank, New York on Friday, Heuermann pleaded not guilty to six counts of first- and second-degree murder.

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