(DailyVantage.com) – Authorities charged a suspected New York serial killer with the death of a 25-year-old woman who would be his fourth official victim. According to New York prosecutors, Rex Heuermann evaded authorities for approximately 15 years while preying on women in the Gilgo Beach area, located on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Heuermann’s arrest came over a decade after the suspected serial killer became inactive, as the last Gilgo Beach slaying occurred in 2011. Despite the inactivity of the Gilgo Beach serial killer, authorities are confident that Heuermann is the suspected murderer.
The Gilgo Beach serial killer murdered an estimated 11 women between 1996 and 2011 and left the victims’ bodies in the tall grass surrounding the area. Authorities conducted an extensive manhunt for the murderer for decades, eventually finding evidence prosecutors claim placed Heuermann at the scenes of several victims’ deaths. Forensic scientists found hair belonging to Heuermann’s estranged wife at several different crime scenes, which they claim proves Heuermann’s involvement in the Gilgo Beach slayings.
After identifying Heuermann as a suspect in the murders of three different women, authorities conducted a DNA test, which confirmed Heuermann’s DNA matched DNA left behind by the serial killer at several crime scenes. Undercover officers followed Heuermann’s 26-year-old daughter after testing the suspected serial killer and performed a follow-up DNA test on the young woman. Heuermann’s daughter’s DNA matched the DNA of a close relative of the person responsible for the Gilgo Beach murders.
Authorities then arrested Heuermann and charged him with three different murders of women found in the Gilgo Beach area. Almost one year after Heuermann’s initial arrest, authorities charged him with the murder of 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who disappeared in the area in 2007. Despite the overwhelming evidence against the suspected serial killer, Heuermann pleaded not guilty to the four different murder charges against him.
Prosecutors cite revolutionary developments in DNA testing as the method used to finally identify the Gilgo Beach serial killer, claiming that authorities waited over ten years before they could identify any potential suspects in the various murder scenes. Although police found Heuermann’s estranged wife’s hair at several of the scenes, authorities confirmed she wasn’t a suspect in any of the murders. Heuermann maintains his innocence and denies his involvement in any of the Gilgo Beach murders.
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