New York City architect Rex Heuermann, 59, was arrested on Thursday by Suffolk County Police in connection with a string of unsolved murders in Long Island that have baffled investigators for over a decade. The remains of at least eleven individuals, most of whom were sex workers, were discovered in an isolated area at Gilgo Beach in 2010 and 2011. The case gained significant media attention and was the subject of the 2020 Netflix film, ‘Lost Girls.’
While authorities initially did not disclose Heuermann’s name, NBC and the New York Times have since reported his identity, citing law enforcement officials. Heuermann, a married father-of-two, was arrested at his architectural firm’s office in Manhattan.
During a news conference on Friday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone stated that the police investigation aimed to bring “justice for these victims and closure to the families who have suffered.” He further noted, “Today’s developments take us a major step forward in doing exactly that.”
Police launched a task force in February 2022 to provide additional investigative resources for the so-called Gilgo Beach murders. The investigation began when authorities were searching for Shannan Gilbert, a sex worker who went missing in 2010 after meeting a client. Gilbert made a distressing call to the police, claiming, “They are trying to kill me.” Her remains, along with those of four other women, were ultimately discovered in a marshy area at Gilgo Beach. In subsequent searches, six more sets of remains were found, including those of a man and a female toddler.
On Friday, authorities searched Heuermann’s residence in Massapequa Park, located approximately 25 minutes from where the bodies were recovered. Local residents reportedly referred to him as the “neighborhood creep.”
Heuermann appeared at an arraignment in Yaphank, New York on Friday, where he pleaded not guilty to six counts of first- and second-degree murder.
The arrest of Heuermann marks a significant development in the long-standing investigation into the Gilgo Beach murders. For over a decade, the unsolved cases have left communities and families in anguish, seeking closure and justice for the victims. Law enforcement authorities are committed to bringing the perpetrators to account and providing solace to those affected.
The impact of these murders reverberated far beyond the local community, as the case received widespread media coverage and served as an inspiration for the Netflix film, ‘Lost Girls.’ The film shed light on the systemic issues surrounding violence against marginalized individuals, particularly sex workers.
As the investigation progresses and the legal process unfolds, the hope is that this arrest will bring some semblance of closure to the families affected by these heinous crimes. The pursuit of justice in cases like these serves as a reminder of the importance of collective efforts to combat violence, protect vulnerable populations, and ensure the safety and well-being of all individuals.