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Suspected Long Island serial killer faces new charges for fourth Gilgo Beach murder

Suspected Long Island serial Killer Rex Heuermann appears with his attorney Michael Brown at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. Heuermann is indicted in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, of Norwich, Conn.
James Carbone
/
Pool via Newsday
Suspected Long Island serial killer Rex Heuermann appears with his attorney Michael Brown at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. Heuermann is indicted in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, of Norwich, Conn.

Prosecutors have charged suspected Long Island serial killer Rex Heuermann with the murder of a fourth woman. The remains of a 25-year-old Connecticut woman were among the first remains of sex workers to be discovered near Gilgo Beach over a decade ago.

A grand jury indicted Heuermann on Tuesday for the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes of Norwich, Connecticut, who disappeared in 2007. Heuermann, of Massapequa Park, now faces murder charges in the deaths of four escorts whose remains were found scattered along Ocean Parkway. Brainard-Barnes, Amber Costello, Megan Waterman and
Melissa Barthelemy became known as the "Gilgo Four."

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney inside Judge Timothy P. Mazzei’s courtroom at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, where alleged Gilgo Killer Rex Heuermann was indicted in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes.
James Carbone
/
Pool via Newsday
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney inside Judge Timothy P. Mazzei’s courtroom at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, where alleged Gilgo Killer Rex Heuermann was indicted in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

"Now we move to the second phase," said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney, at a news conference announcing the superseding indictment. "The second phase being the prosecution of these four cases, as well as continuing to use the grand jury to investigate the other cases.”

Heuermann has pleaded not guilty in all four cases.

The new charges were not a surprise, as Tierney had named Heuermann the prime suspect in Brainard-Barnes' death back in July when he was arrested for the murders of Costello, Waterman and Barthelmy.

Investigators used DNA evidence and cell phone data to link Heuermann to the women.

“While the loss of my mom has been extremely painful for me, the indictment by the grand jury has brought hope for justice for my mom and my family,” said Nicolette Brainard-Barnes, who said she was seven years old when her mother went missing.

Several relatives of the victims — including Nicolette Brainard-Barnes — are now represented by Gloria Allred, an attorney known nationally for taking on high-profile cases involving women's rights.

At least six more sets of remains were found near the four women. Police discovered the remains 14 years ago as they searched for Shannan Gilbert, a missing woman from New Jersey who placed a 911 call from the marshy beachfront near where the other remains were found.

The cases have remained cold for over a decade.

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Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.