05/28/2024

Some Crim

Track the Untold Stories

Long Island Searches This Week Relate to ANOTHER Serial Killer Suspect, NOT Heuermann

Long Island Searches This Week Relate to ANOTHER Serial Killer Suspect, NOT Heuermann

A police search this week in a remote area on Long Island is not connected to suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann.

Instead, police sources told The New York Post, investigators are looking for evidence in the 1993 murder of Sandra Costilla, which they hope to tie to convicted murderer John Bittrolff, 57.

Sandra Costilla/handout

Investigators have long believed Bittrolff, who is serving consecutive prison sentences for the murders of two sex workers in the 1990s, may be responsible for some of the more than 10 unsolved murders on Long Island, as CrimeOnline has reported. Heuermann’s arrest last summer ultimately took four of those murders off the table for Bittrolff — the so-called Gilgo 4, four women found buried in shallow graves on a remote stretch of Gilgo Beach in 2010.

Bittrolff, a Long Island carpenter, was convicted in 2017 in the murders of Rita Tangredi, 31, who was found dead in 1993, and Colleen McNamee, 20, who was found killed in 1994. Both women were beaten to death.

When police returned to the area in Manorville this week, Suffolk DA Ray Tierney said the searches were related to “an ongoing investigation” in the area but declined to disclose further details. The lack of information prompted speculation that the searches could be related to the Long Island murders in general and Heuermann in particular.

But the sources told the Post the searches were related to the 1993 murder of Sandra Costilla, found by hunters beaten to death in the area of the searches on November 20, 1993.  Bittrolff was named a suspect in Costilla’s murder but has not been charged.

It’s not clear what may have prompted the new search or if the searches turned up any new evidence. Crews were back on the scene on Saturday in the dense woods with cadaver-sniffing dogs, the Post said.

Bittrolff was for a time a suspect in the four Gilgo Beach murders, but investigators dropped that designation months before Heuermann was arrested.

The torsos of two other victims, Jessica Taylor and Valerie Mack, were found in Manorville, three miles from Bittrolff’s home. No one has been charged in their murders.

Tangredi’s adult daughter told police that she was best friends with Melissa Barthelmy, one of the Gilgo 4 Heuermann is accused of killing.

Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to all four counts of murder.

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.

[Featured image: FILE: Rex Heuermann and John Bittrolff/James Carbone/Newsday via AP, Pool, File]