Thirteen years after a trail of bodies were discovered in the shoreline community of Gilgo Beach, the Suffolk County Police Department made a long-awaited arrest in the case last week. Rex Heuermann, 59, was taken into custody and charged with the murders of Amber Costello, Melissa Barthelemy and Megan Waterman.
Long Island resident and former escort Nicole Brass has since come forward with claims that she went on a date with Mr Heuermann sometime between 2014 and 2016. Ms Brass, 34, first claimed in a TikTok video that she had met Mr Heuermann at a seafood restaurant in Port Jefferson and he then decided to bring up the Gilgo Beach murders while trying “to make it look just like someone who was very interested in the case”.
“It didn’t seem like somebody who feels bad when he talked about the victims. It seemed like somebody who really wanted to brag about what they did, but couldn’t,” Ms Brass told the Daily Beast.
“His body language shifted, and it seemed like he was having fun ... It was almost like he was visualising it in his head and getting off to what he was saying.”
Ms Brass went on to claim in her TikTok that Mr Heuermann mentioned information about another victim that hadn’t been released by police or reported on by the media. She said that, at one point, Mr Heuermann asked her to ride with him “to his place” in his vehicle, but she declined and left the restaurant on her own.
“That made me even more like, ‘I gotta get out of here,’” Ms Brass recounted. “Thank God, I trusted my gut. I left after that check came and I never spoke to that man again.”
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Ms Brass also told Insider that she had met Mr Heuermann on “one of the sketchy sites, back then.” Law enforcement has previously said that some of the victims advertised their services on websites such as Craiglist.
The Independent has reached out to Mr Heuermann’s attorneys for comment. The Suffolk County Police Department declined to confirm whether they’re investigating Ms Brass’ claims, citing the ongoing investigation.
Mr Heuermann, a Manhattan architect who lives in Massapequa Park, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder in the first degree and three in the second degree over the deaths of Waterman, Barthelemy and Costello.
Mr Heuermann is also the prime suspect in the killing of Maureen Brainard-Barnes. The four victims were sex workers in their 20s whose bodies were found within a mile of each other, wrapped with either belts or burlap tape, according to investigators.
The four women are among the 11 victims whose bodies were found along a stretch of Ocean Parkway in Long Island in 2010 and 2011. Michael Brown, an attorney for Mr Heuermann, has said that his client is innocent and that there was “nothing” about him to suggest his involvement in the murders.
As law enforcement closed in on Mr Heuermann, they served more than 300 subpoenas and search warrants that uncovered cellphone records for burner phones used to arrange meetings with three of the “Gilgo Four” victims before they went missing.
Further analysis also allegedly linked Mr Heuermann to taunting calls made to family members of the victims, according to investigators. The calls were made from the Midtown Manhattan area, where the offices of Mr Heuerman’s architecture business are located.
Among the evidence linking Mr Heuermann to the murders was a hair found on burlap material used to wrap Waterman’s corpse, according to court documents. DNA analysis had not been possible in the early stages of the investigation, but new technology allowed testing in July 2020.
A team surveilling Mr Heuermann collected a discarded pizza box that then confirmed a DNA match with the suspect on 12 June.
Records also show that several online accounts under fictitious names linked to Mr Heuermann were used for illegal activities. Mr Heuermann allegedly used those accounts and burner phones to contact women for prostitution services, as well as making chilling online searches.
The searches included sadistic, torture-related pornography, child pornography and disturbing content. Mr Heuermann is also accused of searching “why could law enforcement not trace the calls made by the long island serial killer,” “why hasn’t the long island serial killer been caught” and “new phone technology may be key to break in case.”
People familiar with the investigation told ABC that the 59-year-old suspect is now being looked at in connection to missing person cases and murders across the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and even nationwide.
The Las Vegas Police Department confirmed to The Independent on Tuesday that it is also reviewing potential ties between Mr Heuermann and unsolved cases.