New Gilgo Beach murder charges: Who is Sandra Costilla? Jessica Taylor?

Rex Heuermann, the alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer, was charged with two more killings on Thursday morning on Long Island: Sandra Costilla and Jessica Taylor.


Heuermann was initially arrested last July and pleaded not guilty in the deaths of four women: Melissa Barthelemy, Maureen Brainard Barnes, Megan Waterman and Amber Lynn Costello. Their bodies were all located near each other on Ocean Parkway, and were the first of 10 sets of remains found in the same area between fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.


Alleged Giglo Beach murderer's 'how to kill' doc revealed: prosecutors

Investigators discovered a "planning document" on the hard drive found in Heuermann's basement that they believe he used to "methodically blueprint" his killings, prosecutors said.

Here's what is known about Costilla and Taylor:

Sandra Costilla

Heuermann was indicted in the November 1993 death of Sandra Costilla, a Queens woman whose remains were found in the town of Southampton over three decades ago. 

According to police, Costilla was found lying on her back with her arms outstretched over her head with her uncovered legs spread apart. 

She was also found with sharp force injuries to her face and her body.


Who were the Gilgo Beach murder victims?

Most of the victims were young women who had been sex workers. Several of the bodies were found near the town of Gilgo Beach.

Costilla was a native of Trinidad and Tobago but had been living in New York prior to her disappearance and murder.

Costilla had not been included among the so-called Gilgo Beach victims, until now. Investigators suspected convicted serial killer John Bittrolff in Costilla’s death, but he was never charged in her slaying, which remains one of several unsolved Long Island murders, according to the New York Post.

Jessica Taylor

Heuermann was also arraigned in connection with the July 2003 dismemberment death of 20-year-old escort Jessica Taylor.

Courtesy of Jessica Taylor’s family

According to police, Taylor was found decapitated with her arms severed from her body (around July 26, 2003).  Police also said a tattoo on her body had been "severely obliterated by a sharp object." 

During the initial investigation in Manorville in 2003, the victim’s head, arms, and hands were not found at the scene and their location remained unknown to law enforcement for nearly eight years.

According to court documents, The Gilgo Homicide Task Force has established a pattern that Heuermann’s wife and children were out of state at the time of Taylor’s disappearance and murder, "a consistent theme in each of the charged homicides thus far." 

Some of her remains were found in a wooded area in Manorville. The rest were located in March 2011 along Ocean Parkway, near those of another sex worker, 24-year-old Valerie Mack.

Who are the 'Gilgo Four'?

The bodies of the "Gilgo Four" were located within a quarter-mile of one another near Gilgo Beach in December 2010.

In 2022, Suffolk County Police released new information on victims Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello including personal information and their last known whereabouts.


Gilgo Beach murders update: An investigation timeline of the killings

Here is a timeline of the investigation into the Gilgo Beach murders. Prosecutors have charged a Long Island architect, Rex Heuermann, in four slayings, but a majority of the killings remain unsolved.

Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker, vanished on May 1, 2010. A police officer and his cadaver dog were looking for her body in the thicket along nearby Ocean Parkway when they happened upon the remains of a different woman. Within days, three other bodies were found, all within a short walk of one another.

Gilbert's disappearance and search is what ultimately led to the discovery of several remains in the area.