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Update on Gilgo Beach murders expected today – NBC New York

What you should know

  • Rex Heuermann, 60, was first arrested in July 2023 in connection with the deaths of four women whose remains were found in burlap bags on a remote stretch of Ocean Parkway in Gilgo Beach in 2010: Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Amber Lynn Costello, Melissa Barthelemy and Megan Waterman
  • The NYC architect pleaded not guilty to the murders; additional remains were found during the investigation. Heuermann is expected to face additional charges involving additional victims on Thursday.
  • He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in two other deaths; investigators have not yet identified the victims. Two, Valerie Mack and Jessica Taylor, were dismembered; parts of their remains were found in an earlier attack in Manorville. They matched remains found along Ocean Parkway.

The New York architect arrested last year in connection with a series of unsolved bodies found on Gilgo Beach on Long Island is due to go on trial Thursday on charges related to the deaths of two other victims, sources familiar with the investigation confirmed.

Accused serial killer Rex Heuermann is scheduled to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. on the new charges. The names of the victims were not disclosed.

The 60-year-old was first arrested in July 2023 in connection with the deaths of four women whose remains were found in burlap sacks on a remote stretch of Ocean Parkway in 2010. The bodies of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Amber Lynn Costello, Melissa Barthelemy and Megan Waterman were discovered during the search for a missing companion, Shannan Gilbert, who was later found dead in a swamp. Her case was ruled an accidental drowning. There is no connection to the other cases.

Other remains were also found during the search for Gilbert. Two of the victims, Jessica Taylor and Valerie Mack, were like the other companions. No arrests were made in their case.

The charges are under seal. A press conference is planned for later Thursday. News 4 had previously reported that Heuermann was likely to face new charges. The further development came late Wednesday.

The expected new charges come after two recent searches related to the case that has puzzled investigators for more than a decade. Investigators returned to Heuermann's single-family home in Massapequa Park shortly after searching a wooded area in Manorville in connection with the case. An attorney for Heuermann's wife said investigators focused primarily on the basement when they returned to the home with a search warrant last month.

It was not clear what they were looking for or what they might have found, but when asked if Heuermann's court date on Thursday was the result of those searches, Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said this week, “It is the result of those and other investigative steps.”

Tierney declined to provide further details.

Heuermann has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer maintains his innocence.

What is the connection between Manorville and Gilgo Beach?

Valerie Mack, 24, who had worked as an escort in Philadelphia, disappeared in 2000 and was last seen by her family in Port Republic, New Jersey. Some of her skeletal remains were discovered in the woods of Manorville that same year. More of her remains were found during searches around Gilgo Beach in 2011.

Mack's remains, originally known as “Jane Doe No. 6,” remained unidentified for years until genetic testing in 2020 revealed her identity.

Jessica Taylor, 20, disappeared in 2003 while working as an escort in New York City. Some of her remains were discovered in Manorville that same year. Additional remains were found in 2011 during a search of the beach brush along Ocean Parkway.

Relatives of Mack and Taylor declined to comment Wednesday.

As for Heuermann's family, according to their lawyer, his two adult children are also waiting.

“Just like the rest of us, we are waiting to hear what the prosecutor has to say,” said Vess Mitev, the lawyer representing Heuermann's two adult children. “My clients have to endure it day by day, minute by minute, hour by hour, as the situation changes around them.”

Mitev told NBC New York earlier this week that his clients had not yet returned to their home following the recent police search and said they stood by their father.

“Whether it's one or 100, they're allegations and they're desperate to see the legal process take its course. Not in the court of public opinion, but in the courtroom before a jury, before a judge,” Mitev said. “These are allegations. They're terrible allegations, horrific allegations and they're dealing with it every day trying to grasp the fact of the allegations against their father. But they're allegations nonetheless.”