Gilgo Beach murders suspect Rex Heuermann is seeing a cleric once a week in jail at his request – as he continues to appear ‘unmoved’ after being taken off suicide watch.
Heuermann, 59, is charged with the murders of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Lynn Costello, who disappeared in 2009 and 2010, and is the prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who disappeared in 2007.
He spent the first few days in jail isolated in his bunk inside his 60-square-foot cell, often staring at the ceiling, but has since settled down, Suffolk Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. told Newsweek on Thursday.
“I didn’t see any emotion from him,” the sheriff said. “You wonder what’s going on… Is there something going on inside that’s brewing?”
Toulon spoke about the architect’s five-week jail term at Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead, sharing that Heuermann wanders alone in a small recreation area and spends his time reading and watching television.
Rex Heuermann was arrested last month in connection with the murder of three women whose bodies were found dumped in gunny sacks on Gilgo Beach.
While reporters and true crime fans demanded to visit, Heuermann only met with his attorney Michael Brown and a man the sheriff declined to identify.
As part of the investigation, police spoke to sex workers who operated in the Long Island area.
Two prostitutes hired by Rex Heuermann, a suspect in the Gilgo Beach murders, accused him of being “violent” and “aggressive” towards them.
They were interviewed in late July, shortly after Heuermann’s arrest, and said they feared for their safety during intimate encounters with the New York-based architect.
“A person that size being a bit aggressive was probably scary,” Toulon said of Heuermann, who is six-foot-four and weighs 240 pounds.
Although they were not injured, the two sex workers told police they were bewildered after their only encounter with the suspect.
Heuermann’s arrest marked a stunning breakthrough in the long-unsolved case that made headlines in 2010 when police began a search for missing woman, Shannon Gilbert, near Gilgo Beach on Long Island.
The first victim, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, was discovered by Suffolk County police on December 11, 2010. The body of Megan Waterman, 22, was found two days later.
Maureen Brainard-Barnes was 25 when she disappeared (left). Amber Lynn Costello was 27 years old. Their bodies were found near Barthélémy on the same day
Instead, they discovered ten sets of human remains scattered along a desolate barrier island. Among the dead are eight women, a man and a young child.
Prosecutors remain tight-lipped on whether Heuermann is a suspect in the other murders.
However, police are investigating possible links between Heuermann and the unsolved murders of four sex workers by “eastbound stranglers” in Atlantic City.
The high-profile case was solved after DNA from a pizza crust and a napkin Heuermann threw in a trash can outside his Manhattan architectural firm matched 99.96% to the DNA profile created from hair recovered from the “bottom of the burlap sack”. used to transport Waterman’s naked body.
Vergata’s legs were found in a plastic bag in Davis Park on Fire Island’s Blue Point Beach nearly two decades before, on April 20, 1996. His skull was later found off Ocean Parkway in 2011.
Heuermann is accused of killing the women while his family was out of town, with investigators finding his and his wife’s hair on the bodies of some of the alleged victims.
His wife Asa Ellerup and two children, Victoria, 26, and Christopher, 32, looked solemn as they returned to the destroyed property with their family dog.
Ellerup was at the scene when authorities raided on July 14, with her lawyer saying the family had been “blindsided” by the murder charges.
“Obviously it’s been a shocking time for them and a pretty hard time to understand,” Robert Macedonio said.
“As with any family, this is extremely upsetting and they are totally shocked and taken aback. The family don’t want to comment further than that.