MASSAPEQUA PARK, Long Island (WABC) — Detectives are now looking into whether any of the Gilgo Beach murders may have been carried out at the family home of suspect Rex Heuermann.
Evidence technicians will be scouring Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home for an eighth consecutive day on Friday. The search of the house is expected to last at least another two days, a law enforcement official familiar with the search told ABC News.
Meantime, unsolved murders and missing persons cases “around the nation” are getting a second look a week after Rex Heuermann’s arrest for the murders of three young women whose burlap wrapped bodies were found along Gilgo Beach, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said.
That includes the 2006 killings of four women working as prostitutes in Atlantic City. Their bodies were found in a watery ditch along Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.
Police in Las Vegas, where Heuermann owned a timeshare, said this week they are also looking at possible connections to unsolved cases.
“We are working with partner law enforcement agencies, obviously the FBI continues to be engaged, to see if there are any other connections that need to be made,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Thursday. “I can tell you this: the investigation continues. We will remain and our police department will remain focused on bringing justice for our other victims.”
Until his arrest last week, prosecutors say Heuermann was living a double life — using burner phones and anonymous email accounts to arrange sex and search for child pornography while raising a daughter and step-son and commuting into New York City for work.
On Wednesday, Heuermann’s wife filed for divorce in Suffolk County Supreme Court. The docket states that the divorce will be “uncontested.”
His wife’s attorney released the following statement:
“As you can imagine, our client and her family are going through a devastating time in their lives. The sensitive nature of her husband’s arrest is taking an emotional toll on the immediate and extended family, especially their elderly family members. Ms. Ellerup does not wish to comment further and has requested the public and press to please respect the family’s privacy at this time.”
Heuermann is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello and leaving their remains along a remote stretch of beach highway. He is also considered the prime suspect in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes.
Officials on Wednesday said the investigation into Heuermann includes interviews with incarcerated sex workers.
Investigators have been talking to the sex workers about possible interactions with the suspect as authorities work to develop a more complete picture of his movements and methods.
Two sex workers currently in Suffolk County Jail had prior contact with Heuermann and have audio recordings of him, according to the sheriff’s office. The two interacted with him through various social media platforms.
“He had reached out to them for sex,” Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon said. “They had took the calls but fortunately, they did not meet with him.”
Investigators are also talking to other sex workers in Suffolk County Jail, seeking anyone else who interacted with Heuermann in the past. That could expand to jails in neighboring counties and beyond.
Once Heuermann was identified as a suspect in the Gilgo Beach deaths, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office shared his distinctive physical description with inmates they knew were involved in sex trafficking. They could not share a photo of him at that time, due to the sensitivity of the investigation.
They also went through Heuermann’s phone records, and realized the two sex workers serving time in the jail had previously been contacted by him. They were interviewed and provided the audio recordings.
After Heuermann was arrested, members of the jail’s human trafficking unit were then cleared to show his photo to current inmates to see if any of them had contact with him. They are also reaching out to sex trafficking victims no longer in custody.
Two of Heuermann’s Chevy Avalanches are also being examined for evidence.
The first, a newer black Avalanche, was towed from his Massapequa Park property Friday. The second, an older green Avalanche, was recovered on his property in South Carolina and towed by a New York State Police flatbed to New York, where it arrived at the Suffolk County Crime Lab at 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Harrison says Heuermann gave the green Avalanche to his brother, who lives in South Carolina, around 2015. Harrison says Heuermann owned the vehicle at the time of the murders of three women whose bodies were dumped along Gilgo Beach.
He says they are looking for anything that will help authorities connect the victims to that vehicle.
“Anything from hair, to trophies, to souvenirs, to jewelry,” Harrison said.
WATCH | Rodney Harrison delves deeper into Gilgo Beach murder investigation
Investigators were also checking to see if Heuermann’s DNA – obtained from pizza crust he disposed of and linked to genetic material found on a Gilgo Beach victim’s remains – connected him to other unsolved cases in New York.
Heuermann has denied killing the women, according to his attorney, Michael Brown.
Since his arrest, Heuermann has been on suicide watch at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility, according to a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office. The designation, which requires “high security measures” and close observation, came following an evaluation by county medical staff, according to the spokesperson, Vicki DiStefano.
Toulon spoke with Heuermann inside the correctional facility.
“I have spoken to him once. He’s very calm, all three times, he’s been laying down on his bunk, very nondescript showing no emotion,” Toulon said.
The charges against Heuermann were a remarkable development in one of New York’s most notorious mysteries.
ALSO WATCH | Serial killer researcher on Gilgo Beach murder suspect
Shannan Gilbert’s disappearance in 2010 triggered the hunt that exposed the larger mystery. A 24-year-old sex worker, she vanished after leaving a client’s house on foot in the seafront community of Oak Beach, disappearing into the marsh.
Harrison, who spearheaded the creation of an interagency task force last year to solve the Gilgo Beach killings, has vowed that authorities will “work tirelessly until we bring justice to all the families involved.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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