YAPHANK, L.I. - It has been just over a month since Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann was arrested. In that time, he’s gone through an evolution behind bars, according to Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr.
"The first few days of course, very quiet, laying on his bed, looking at the ceiling," Toulon said. "But now he’s participating in religious services, he goes to our rehabilitation center to take books out."
Heuermann is suspected in the murders of at least three victims found buried and bound in burlap sacks along a stretch of Ocean Parkway. Police say he’s also the prime suspect in the death of a fourth woman.
Toulon tells us that Heuermann, who is now off suicide watch, is monitored 24/7. He spends the majority of his time in a 10-by-6 jail cell, shows little emotion, undergoes mental and medical evaluations weekly and has no contact with other inmates.
Aside from his attorney, Heuermann received one visit from a non-family member. The lawyer who represents Asa Ellerup, his estranged wife, says they have spoken on the phone.
When asked, Heuermann’s attorney didn’t discuss who his client has been in contact with but did say the DNA cheek swab, as requested by prosecutors, was done on Wednesday at the jail.
Officials speak with suspected prostitutes who come in and out of the jail to see if they had any encounters with Heuermann prior to his arrest.
Toulon also says Heuermann has purchased toiletries, a pen and pad from commissary and wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a noticeable change in his behavior once reality sets in.
"When you think about, for almost 13 years he would get on the train, walk through the streets of New York City, go throughout his community, whatever he did when he was home," Toulon said. "It’s truly amazing when you think of the person that’s next door."