06/24/2024

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Dog Bed DNA Could Potentially Mean Death Penalty for Accused Gilgo Beach Serial Killer

Dog Bed DNA Could Potentially Mean Death Penalty for Accused Gilgo Beach Serial Killer

Investigators have renewed their focus on suspected Long Island serial killer Rex Heuermann, returning to his New York home nearly a year after his arrest on murder charges in the Gilgo Beach case.

Following his arrest last year in Manhattan, Heuermann emerged as a potential person of interest in cold cases in other states, including New Jersey, Nevada, South Carolina, and Connecticut.

According to FOX News Digital, investigators have not commented on the new search, but are believed to be seeking evidence for a cold case.

Former NYPD cold case investigator Joseph Giacalone said that Heuremann might have contaminated another crime scene with pet hair, after photos showed police removing a dog bed from Heuermann’s Massapequa Park residence.

“Why else take the dog bed unless you have a dog hair or an animal hair to match it up to?” he asked.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, investigators returned to Heuermann’s Long Island home earlier this week. Police arrested the Manhattan architect in July for the deaths of three of the four women known collectively as the “Gilgo Four.” The bodies were found within days of each other on Gilgo Beach in December 2010. All four women were buried in burlap sacks.

Heuermann was initially charged with six counts of murder in the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, 24; Megan Waterman, 22; and Amber Lynn Costello, 27. Earlier this year, he was charged with the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who vanished in 2007.

All four women were reportedly advertising as sex workers when they vanished.

White tents set up by law enforcement fill the front yard of Rex Heuermann’s home, Monday, May 20, 2024, in Massapequa Park, N.Y. Investigators returned Monday to the home of the New York architect charged in a string of slayings known as the Gilgo Beach killings. (AP Photo/Phil Marcelo)

Giacalone added that if evidence from cold cases in other states links back to Heuremann, the accused killer could face the death penalty.

“If they attach one of those cases to him, this turns federal and this whole thing goes belly up,” Giacalone said.  “We know the FBI is involved, and the FBI plays the long game – and they’re always working.”

“The feds can then bring death penalty charges into it, even in New York state, and that could get him to talk, and try to close out some of these other cases that he may or may not be involved with.”

Heuermann pleaded not guilty to Brainard-Barnes’ murder and previously pleaded not guilty to the other three murders. His attorney, Michael Brown, submitted the not-guilty plea on Heuremann’s behalf.

“He has maintained his innocence from day one,” Brown previously said. “He’s looking forward to fighting these charges and we’re doing that.”

Heuremann remains behind bars at Suffolk County jail.

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[Feature Photo: Rex Heuermann/Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office via AP]