Police digging in backyard of Gilgo Beach murders suspect

Investigators have been digging in the yard at the Long Island home of Rex Heuermann, who was charged earlier this month with killing at least three women and burying their remains on a remote stretch of beach highway.

On Monday morning SkyFoxHD was overhead as law enforcement used excavating equipment and ground-penetrating radar to see if anything has been buried back there. 

"It’s a different type of technology, but it’ll help us identify anything we have to take into our possession," said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison.

Harrison clarified what some originally thought was a soundproof room is actually a walk-in vault with an iron door where Heuermann stored guns.


Gilgo Beach murders: Everything we know in the case against Rex Heuermann

Rex Heuermann is charged with first and second degree murder in connection with the deaths of three victims – Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello. He’s said to also be a prime suspect in a fourth.

Harrison said that he’s optimistic about the findings, but stopped short of getting into specifics, including where the victims were before they were killed.

"There are items taken into our possession that makes it fruitful," Harrison said. 

Authorites have pulled more than 100 firearms from the house, along with a large doll encased in glass and a portrait of a woman with a bruise on her face. Police also got a warrant to conduct searches of Heuermann's property in South Carolina.

The July 14th arrest of Heuermann, a 59-year-old architect, marked a stunning breakthrough in the long-stalled cold case that first drew headlines in 2010, when police began searching for a missing woman, Shannon Gilbert, near Long Island's Gilgo Beach.


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Brass, a former escort who says Heuermann is now connected to at least three Gilgo Beach murders dehumanized the victims and used his large build to intimidate her.

Instead, they discovered 10 sets of human remains scattered along a long barrier island. The dead included eight women, one man and a young child.

Heuermann, who has pleaded not guilty, was charged with killing three of the women – Melissa Barthelemy, Amber Costello, and Megan Waterman. He is the prime suspect in the death of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

The bodies of the four women were found along the same quarter-mile (0.4-kilometer) stretch of Ocean Parkway. Heuermann has not been accused in connection to the other remains, and police have suggested the deaths may be the work of multiple killers.

In South Carolina, where Heuermann’s brother lives, police are seeking video recordings and writings related to the killings, burlap, duct tape, guns and ammunition, cutting tools, and a specific type of paper towel from the Bounty Modern Print Collection.

Authorities also seized a Chevrolet Avalanche, which Heuermann had transferred to his brother in 2012, from the property. The vehicle was spotted by a roommate of one of the victims shortly before her disappearance, a tip that ultimately proved crucial in helping police make an arrest.

With the Associated Press.