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Police have arrested a suspect in the cold case serial killings that occurred on Gilgo Beach in Long Island, New York.
Rex Heuermann, 59, a New York City architect, has been arrested for the crimes, according to multiple sources who spoke to the New York Post. Heuermann is expected in court on Friday.
Heuermann is suspected of killing at least four women, known as the “Gilgo Four,” who were found wrapped in burlap near each other in late 2010. Heuermann is so far not suspected of killing six additional people who were found in the area.
Police were seen on the street outside Heuermann’s home in Massapequa Park early Friday morning, News 12 Long Island reported. The outlet called the search for the Gilgo Beach killer “one of the most intense, prolific searches for a serial killer ever.”
Heuermann is the owner and founder of RH Consultants and Associates, an architecture firm in Midtown Manhattan. Its website boasts that American Airlines and the NYC-DEP Sewerage Treatment as clients. Last year, Heuermann gave an interview to the YouTube channel Bonjour Reality, saying that he was “born and raised on Long Island,” but has “been working in Manhattan since 1987.”
The four bodies currently connected to Heuermann were found after Shannan Gilbert, an escort who operated using Craigslist, went missing one night in Oak Beach on Long Island.
Gilbert was last seen leaving the area on foot in distress that night in 2010, though Suffolk County Police say she had a driver waiting to take her home. The driver received a call from Gilbert’s client, who said she had started acting irrationally and demanded she leave, Fox News reported.
“After refusing to leave the location at the request of her client, Gilbert eventually fled on foot into the Oak Beach community,” police said, according to Fox. “She knocked on several doors before disappearing.”
Gilbert’s disappearance led police to search along Ocean Parkway, where they discovered four women’s bodies over the course of several days. The first body found was Melissa Barthelemy. One year later, on December 11, 2011, police found Gilbert’s purse and cellphone a quarter-mile away from Barthelemy’s body. Two days later, Gilbert’s body was found in roughly the same area as the serial killer’s victims.
Heuermann is not currently connected to Gilbert’s death.
Heuermann’s arrest appears to clear Dr. Peter Hackett, who has been long suspected of being connected to the murders. Hackett, the former head of Suffolk County Emergency Medical Services, called Gilbert’s mother after her disappearance claiming she was okay and that she had been in his care. For years, he denied making this phone call, but phone records eventually proved that he did. When asked about the murders, he faked a heart attack in front of news cameras.
Disgraced ex-police chief James Burke was also once suspected of the murders, due in part to the fact that he kept the FBI from helping to investigate the murders when they were first discovered. In 2016, Burke was sentenced to 46 months in prison for assaulting a man who was in police custody. The man, Christopher Loeb, had stolen a duffle bag out of Burke’s car that reportedly contained sex toys and pornographic DVDs.
Before becoming police chief, Burke had been in trouble for having sex with a prostitute in his patrol car. The link to sex workers led many to believe Burke may have been the Gilgo Beach serial killer, but no evidence could be found linking him to the crimes.