Gilgo Beach murders: Accused killer Rex Heuermann taunted victims’ family after her death, court docs say

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Editor’s note: This story contains some graphic details. 

The suspected “Long Island Serial Killer” allegedly called one his victims’ families at least five times within two months after she vanished, according to court documents.

Rex Heuermann, a 59-year-old married father of two and an architect working in Manhattan, was arrested and charged with the murders of three of four victims known as the “Gilgo Beach 4” in the infamous Long Island cold case.

Heuermann allegedly called Melissa Barthelemey’s family on July 17, July 23, August 5, August 19, and August 26, 2009, according to Heuermann’s bail application, which detailed his alleged crimes.

He allegedly told her family that he sexually assaulted the 24-year-old woman and killed her, according to the bail application.


Barthelemey, a Western New York native from the Buffalo area, was 24 when she was last seen in New York City on July 10, 2009. 

Authorities believe she was working as a sex worker at the time.


On July 11 and July 12, 2009, her phone made two outbound calls to check her voicemail, which pinged at cell sites in Babylon, New York, which is less than 15 miles from where her body was found on Gilgo Beach in December 2010.

The bodies of Megan Waterman, Amber Costello and Maureen Brainard-Barnes were also found along the beach in December 2010.

The four victims – known as the “Gilgo 4” – “did the same thing for a living, they will advertise the same way, and there were similarities with regard to the crime scenes,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said during Friday’s press conference.

As of Saturday afternoon, Heuermann is accused of killing three of the four women, and he remains the prime suspect in Brainard-Barnes’ death. 


Heuermann, a hulking man in stature, pleaded not guilty to all six counts of murder. He was charged with first- and second-degree murder for each victim. 

More charges are expected to be added, according to the county district attorney, as investigators continue to work to tie Heuermann to Brainard-Barnes’ death.


Heuermann’s lawyer, Michael Brown, said the evidence is “extremely circumstantial” and told reporters that his client repeatedly said, “I didn’t do this,” through tears. 

Brown was given the case Friday, so he needs time to review the accusations and couldn’t comment on specific allegations. 

“We obviously don’t have any evidence. This is the beginning of the case,” Brown said. “Everybody is presumed innocent in our country, there’s a presumption of innocence, and we’re looking forward to fighting this case in a court of law, not the court of public opinion.”


Officials detailed “thousands” of Google searches that Heuermann allegedly made for various graphic pornography and nearby sex workers. 

Fox News Digital is not describing many of the Google searches due to their explicit nature, but he allegedly made 200 Google searches between March 2022 and June 2023, related to the disappearances and murders of Brainard-Barnes, Barthelemy, Waterman and Costello, the bail application says.

The Google searches include “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,” “In Long Island serial killer investigation, new phone technology may be key to break in case” and more, the bail application says. 


The Gilgo Beach murders have remained unsolved more than a decade after the search for missing escort Shannan Gilbert, 24, first led police to the bodies of multiple sex workers and other victims east of New York City. 

Separate from the “Gilgo 4” include the partial remains of 20-year-old Jessica Taylor, which were found in March 2011 Near Gilgo Beach. Authorities said part of Taylor’s body was discovered eight years earlier and 40 miles away in Manorville, New York.

Two miles west, police discovered the skeletal remains of an unidentified Asian man — or transgender woman — believed to be 17 to 23 years old.

A week later, in April 2011, two more sets of partial remains were found along Ocean Parkway. The first were those of the woman known as “Peaches,” believed to be the mother of the toddler found the week before. 

Part of her body had been previously discovered in Hempstead Lake State Park in 1997. The second was the skull of a woman who was linked to remains found on Fire Island in 1996.

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group PLLP.

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