MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y. (PIX11) — A suspect is in police custody in connection with the Gilgo Beach serial killings case, police said on Friday.
Suffolk County officials identified the suspect as Rex Heuermann, a 59-year-old architect from Massapequa Park.
The disappearance of Shannan Gilbert in 2010 triggered the hunt that exposed a larger mystery. Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker, vanished after leaving a client’s house on foot in the seafront community of Oak Beach, disappearing into the marsh.
Below is a timeline of the investigation that led to the arrest.
Dec. 11, 2010: Suffolk County Police canine discovers human remains at Gilgo Beach of a different woman while searching for Shannan Gilbert. The victim was later identified as Melissa Barthelemy.
Dec. 13, 2010: The remains of three other bodies are found in the same location, all within 500 feet of each other.
Dec. 15, 2010: The FBI offers to help in the investigation. Police seize a white van from the client’s Oak Beach residence.
Dec.16, 2010: Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office reports that the remains found are female victims and Shannan Gilbert is not one of four the bodies discovered.
Jan. 19, 2011: Police identify one victim as Megan Waterman. The identities of the three remaining victims were still unknown.
Jan. 24, 2011: Police release the identities of the three remaining victims: Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, and Amber Lynn Costello. Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota declares that a serial killer is responsible for these young women’s deaths.
Spota also reveals that all four victims worked as escorts using Craigslist.
March 29-31, 2011: Police return to Gilgo Beach to search for Shannan Gilbert and discover another set of human remains. About a mile east from the original location, police search teams find a skull, forearm, and hands.
Police declare that the fifth set of remains discovered are not those of Shannan Gilbert.
April 4-5, 2011: Police discover three additional sets of human remains, bringing the total body count to eight. Shannan Gilbert is not one of the three bodies discovered.
April 11, 2011: Police discover two more sets of remains in separate locations along Ocean Parkway, bringing the total number of bodies in the Gilgo Beach serial killings to 10.
Dec. 13, 2011: Shannan Gilbert’s body is discovered in an Oak Beach marsh, about a mile away from her belongings.
July 13, 2023: Rex Heuermann was arrested in Manhattan, according to police.
July 14, 2023: Police swarm Heuermann’s home in Massapequa Park, Long Island. Heuermann was arraigned on charges of first- and second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of three victims: Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello. Authorities said he is also the “prime suspect” in another killing. Defense attorney Michael Brown said Heuermann denied the accusations against him and told him “I didn’t do this.”
In talking about the bodies discovered near Gilgo Beach, investigators have said several times over the years it is unlikely one person killed all the victims.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.