NATIONAL NEWS

Investigators pore over evidence from the home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer as search ends

Jul 25, 2023, 12:25 PM | Updated: 2:24 pm

Authorities continue to work at the home of suspect Rex Heuermann, bottom right, in Massapequa Park...

Authorities continue to work at the home of suspect Rex Heuermann, bottom right, in Massapequa Park, N.Y., Monday, July 24, 2023. Heuermann has been charged with killing at least three women in the long-unsolved slayings known as the Gilgo Beach killings. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — An intense police search of the Long Island home of Rex Heuermann is now complete, authorities said Tuesday as they ended a 12-day hunt for evidence that involved ripping up the yard and the discovery of a basement vault containing hundreds of weapons kept by the man accused of killing at least three women more than a decade ago.

At a press conference outside the Massapequa Park home where Heuermann lived with his wife and two kids, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said police had found a “tremendous amount of information” during their search.

He declined to describe the bulk of the material, but said there was not a “singular piece of evidence” that jumped out to him.

The search turned up at least 279 weapons kept inside a thick basement vault large enough for a person to walk into, Tierney said. Police took boxes of additional evidence from the house, which he described as a “very cluttered environment.”

An effort in recent days to dig up the backyard in search of possible clues about where the murders were committed did not yield any “large items of evidence,” he added.

A coalition of law enforcement agencies have been pouring over the property since July 14th, when Heuermann was arrested and charged with killing three women – Melissa Barthelemy, Amber Costello, and Megan Waterman – and dumping their bodies along a remote stretch of coastal highway near Long Island’s Gilgo Beach more than a decade ago. Prosecutors identified him as the prime suspect in the death of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

Heuermann, who worked as an architect in Manhattan, has denied the charges through his lawyer.

The killings, all of which involved women engaged in sex work, happened while Heuermann’s family members were out of town, according to court papers. There is no indication his wife or children had knowledge of the crimes, Tierney said.

During the search, police used a scanning technology to identify “disturbances” in the ground outside Heuermann’s property, Tierney said. An excavator dug up the yard, and investigators with shovels could be seen scraping through freshly upturned earth.

“There was nothing of note taken from the back yard,” he said. “As far as remains, there is a whole entire trace analysis we have to go through with the house with regard to hair fibers, DNA, blood, which we’ll have to await the results of.”

Police were also seen pulling a large doll encased in glass and a portrait of a woman with a bruise on her face from the house. Tierney said it would be “quite some time” before all of the evidence could be tested for forensics.

The end of the search comes as police in Las Vegas and South Carolina are beginning their own investigations into whether the suspect may have been connected to any unresolved cases. Heuermann owns a timeshare in Las Vegas and planned to retire in a remote area of South Carolina, where his brother currently lives.

Tierney declined to discuss specifics in the other cases on Tuesday, but noted the investigation “is not limited to New York state.”

Heuermann is due back in court on August 1st.

National News

FILE - The marquee at a gun shop in Los Ranchos, N.M, flashes in protest of Gov. Michelle Lujan Gri...

Associated Press

Federal court won’t block New Mexico’s 7-day waiting period on gun purchases amid litigation

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that New Mexico can continue to enforce a new, seven-day waiting period on gun sales while a court challenge backed by the National Rifle Association moves forward. In a ruling Monday, Albuquerque-based U.S. District Court Judge James Browning denied the NRA’s request for a restraining […]

15 minutes ago

Associated Press

Clashes arise over the economic effects of Louisiana’s $3 billion-dollar coastal restoration project

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Proponents of a nearly $3 billion project to restore part of southeast Louisiana’s rapidly vanishing coastline released a study Tuesday touting the expected economic benefits of its construction, even as the project faces pushback and litigation from communities who fear the environment and their livelihoods will be severely affected. The Mid-Barataria […]

26 minutes ago

Associated Press

How employers are taking steps to safeguard workers from extreme heat

McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — At the start of every work day, construction worker Charles Smith puts on the essentials: hard hat. Safety glasses. A reflective vest. And a small, watch-like band for his wrist. But rather than track time, its purpose is to ensure he doesn’t overheat while working during sweltering summer days in Texas. […]

44 minutes ago

Associated Press

State election directors fear the Postal Service can’t handle expected crush of mail-in ballots

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — State election directors from across the country voiced serious concerns to a top U.S. Postal Service official Tuesday that the system won’t be able to handle an expected crush of mail-in ballots in the November election. Steven Carter, manager of election and government programs for the postal service, attempted to reassure the […]

55 minutes ago

South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick listens to arguments by attorneys during a hearing, Tue...

Associated Press

North Dakota judge will decide whether to throw out a challenge to the state’s abortion ban

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Attorneys argued Tuesday over whether a North Dakota judge should toss a lawsuit challenging the state’s abortion ban, with the state saying the plaintiffs’ case rests on hypotheticals, and the plaintiffs saying key issues remain to be resolved at a scheduled trial. State District Judge Bruce Romanick said he will rule […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Editorial Roundup: United States

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: July 22 The Washington Post on what Kamala Harris needs to do to win the election With President Biden’s exit from the race, Democrats are quickly coalescing around Vice President Harris. Too quickly, arguably: Both she and the country would be better served by a […]

1 hour ago

Investigators pore over evidence from the home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer as search ends