Gilgo Beach murders investigators crack decade-old Long Island case and arrest architect in Massapequa

The decades-old mystery gets a breakthrough as Long Island's notorious cold case sees the arrest of a well-established architect.

Rex Heuermann, a 59-year-old architect and family man, was apprehended today as the prime suspect in the notorious “Gilgo Beach murders,” a case that has dominated the media and kept Long Island (NY) investigators on their toes for over a decade.

Authorities arrested Heuermann at his residence early this morning. High-ranking law enforcement officials have informed NBC News that his arraignment will take place later in the day.

Led by Suffolk County police and the district attorney, the ongoing investigation has traced the suspect to Massapequa, a town in the adjacent Nassau County. Heuermann, a practicing architect, is a resident of this area.

The victims, widely referred to as the “Gilgo Four,” were Maureen Brainard Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello. These young women, all in their early 20s and working as escorts, were found lifeless within a quarter-mile radius of each other at Gilgo Beach back in December 2010, as recounted by ABC News.

A grim tally of 11 victims was discovered in the same vicinity between 2010 and 2011, around 40 miles from NYC, following the death of a 24-year-old prostitute, Shannan Gilbert, from New Jersey. To date, Heuermann has been associated solely with the “Gilgo Four.”

“I never lost hope that justice would eventually be served. I’m grateful it has come sooner rather than later,” Sherre Gilbert, sister of one of the 11 victims, whose case has not been tied to Heuermann, expressed. “The man accused (Rex) has caused a lot of suffering and deserves to spend his remaining years behind bars. While this doesn’t bring our loved ones back, it’s a relief to know one less predator is roaming free.”

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News of Heuermann’s arrest broke following an earlier statement from a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office indicating a “significant development in the case,” but withholding further comments until after a court hearing scheduled for later today.

Heuermann is a husband and father of two, and has been at the helm of the NYC-based architecture and consulting firm “RH Consultants & Associates” since 1994, CNN pointed out, referencing his company’s website. Heuermann was also featured on the YouTube channel Bonjour Realty in an interview last year.

As in all cases, all charges are just allegations, and those implicated are considered innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

The enigma surrounding this case has drawn national attention, made appearances on true-crime TV shows, and inspired the 2020 Netflix film “Lost Girls,” adapted from a 2013 book by Robert Kolker.

Oddly enough, a woman’s body was discovered at Gilgo Beach back in 2000, and speculations arose years later suggesting a connection between this death and the mysterious bodies subsequently found in the area.