LONG ISLAND, N.Y. – Law enforcement authorities have arrested a man they say is connected to a string of murders involving sex workers whose remains were discovered along a seaside highway in New York, according to multiple reports.
The suspect has been identified as 59-year-old Rex Heuermann, a Nassau County-based architect who is married and works in Manhattan. He was taken into custody in connection with at least some of the Gilgo Beach murders, reported the New York Times.
Heuermann was arrested after being matched to DNA, sources told the New York Post on Friday once officers swarmed his home on 1st Avenue in Massapequa Park.
Suffolk County and New York State Police were at the scene at First Avenue in Massapequa Park, where they arrested Rex Heuermann on Friday. (Screenshot News12 Long Island)
“He seemed like a regular neighbor,” said local resident Barry Auslander. “I never thought he was anything but a businessman, average guy who had a family and went to work.”
Rex Heuermann was arrested in connection to the Gilgo Beach murders in Long Island. (Rex Heuermann Consultants & Associates via New York Post)
At least 11 sets of human remains have been found along Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach, since 2010, according to Suffolk County police. The series of slayings are being investigated by police and the district attorney’s office.
Some of the victims — Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello — are known as the “Gilgo Four.” Their remains were discovered across a quarter-mile area of the parkway. Each woman vanished between 2007 and 2010, Law&Crime reported.
Their bodies were discovered in December 2010 during the search for the remains of Shannan Gilbert, a 23-year-old sex worker who resided in Oak Beach when she went missing.
According to law enforcement authorities, Gilbert was last seen running through the gated community of Oak Beach after leaving the home of a customer.
While searching for Gilbert, police made the grim discovery of multiple victims in the Gilgo Beach area of the Ocean Parkway.
In addition to the Gilgo Four, authorities discovered partial remains belonging to 20-year-old Jessica Taylor in 2011, as well as the remains of Valerie Mack, according to Law&Crime.
Furthermore, police discovered the remains of a female toddler, a woman believed to be the toddler’s mother, and an Asian male who has not been identified.
John Ray, an attorney for Gilbert’s family, told a local news outlet that he “had a very strong, credible tip that they were about to close in on an arrest” about a week ago, although he had not heard from investigators in the past few months.
“We’re pleased if they actually managed to find somebody that can be tagged for this,” said Ray, who also represents the Taylor family.
“We’re pleased that something is finally occurring, because we’ve been frustrated.”
Heuermann is due in court later on Friday, according to another New York Post source who did not confirm the identity.