Accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann, appears in...

Accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann, appears in Judge Tim Mazzei’s courtroom at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Sept. 27, 2023. Credit: James Carbone

Investigators from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s anti-trafficking unit are slated to interview female inmates at the Nassau County Correctional Facility Friday to gather information about possible encounters with alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann.

After completing interviews of about 60 female inmates at Nassau’s East Meadow facility, the investigators will go to Rikers Island to interview inmates there, said Vicki DiStefano, spokeswoman for Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr.

“We all know that our counties don’t have physical borders, and there is nothing stopping crimes from happening on one side or the other. For us, working with neighboring jurisdictions to interview incarcerated women was the logical next step for our human trafficking team to assist with the Gilgo murder investigation,” Toulon said, adding that his investigators are “specially trained” for these interviews.

Heuermann’s attorney, Michael J. Brown, did not respond to requests for comment.

The three investigators work in a human trafficking unit created by Toulon in 2018. The unit is designed to screen women who may have been forced into prostitution. The jail provides services to people identified as sex trafficking victims, such as substance abuse counseling, vocational assistance and other support.

The unit also provides valuable criminal intelligence, Toulon said.

“These women are actually telling us things that we probably never would have learned,” Toulon said.

Jail officials have given 12 reports with leads on the case to the Gilgo Beach interagency task force created last year to investigate the case. Those leads include claims by some women who said they had encounters with Heuermann in public and private settings, DiStefano said.

Thus far, they’ve interviewed 141 women at the Suffolk jails, including two sex workers who described encounters with Heuermann that were “violent” and “aggressive.” 

They have also interviewed an additional 11 women at the Nassau jail, officials said.  Investigators will go back to the Nassau inmates for a second day on Friday.

Authorities arrested Heuermann, 60, a Massapequa Park native with an architecture business in midtown Manhattan, July 13 and charged him with the killings of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello, sex workers whose remains were found in the Gilgo Beach area in December 2010. Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Authorities have also said that Heuermann is the prime suspect in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, whose remains were found at Gilgo Beach near those of the other three women. He has not been charged in her death.

Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney recently said the task force has begun expanding its probe into the other victims, including three people whose remains have not been identified.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison told Newsday last week that he has assigned two additional investigators to the task force to prioritize work on the backgrounds of suspected victims Valerie Mack and Karen Vergata.  They were the last two victims to be identified.

Heuermann has been held without bail at the Suffolk jail facility in Riverhead since his arrest.  His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 15.

Investigators from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s anti-trafficking unit are slated to interview female inmates at the Nassau County Correctional Facility Friday to gather information about possible encounters with alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann.

After completing interviews of about 60 female inmates at Nassau’s East Meadow facility, the investigators will go to Rikers Island to interview inmates there, said Vicki DiStefano, spokeswoman for Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr.

“We all know that our counties don’t have physical borders, and there is nothing stopping crimes from happening on one side or the other. For us, working with neighboring jurisdictions to interview incarcerated women was the logical next step for our human trafficking team to assist with the Gilgo murder investigation,” Toulon said, adding that his investigators are “specially trained” for these interviews.

Heuermann’s attorney, Michael J. Brown, did not respond to requests for comment.

The three investigators work in a human trafficking unit created by Toulon in 2018. The unit is designed to screen women who may have been forced into prostitution. The jail provides services to people identified as sex trafficking victims, such as substance abuse counseling, vocational assistance and other support.

The unit also provides valuable criminal intelligence, Toulon said.

“These women are actually telling us things that we probably never would have learned,” Toulon said.

Jail officials have given 12 reports with leads on the case to the Gilgo Beach interagency task force created last year to investigate the case. Those leads include claims by some women who said they had encounters with Heuermann in public and private settings, DiStefano said.

Thus far, they’ve interviewed 141 women at the Suffolk jails, including two sex workers who described encounters with Heuermann that were “violent” and “aggressive.” 

They have also interviewed an additional 11 women at the Nassau jail, officials said.  Investigators will go back to the Nassau inmates for a second day on Friday.

Authorities arrested Heuermann, 60, a Massapequa Park native with an architecture business in midtown Manhattan, July 13 and charged him with the killings of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello, sex workers whose remains were found in the Gilgo Beach area in December 2010. Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Authorities have also said that Heuermann is the prime suspect in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, whose remains were found at Gilgo Beach near those of the other three women. He has not been charged in her death.

Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney recently said the task force has begun expanding its probe into the other victims, including three people whose remains have not been identified.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison told Newsday last week that he has assigned two additional investigators to the task force to prioritize work on the backgrounds of suspected victims Valerie Mack and Karen Vergata.  They were the last two victims to be identified.

Heuermann has been held without bail at the Suffolk jail facility in Riverhead since his arrest.  His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 15.

Suffolk conflict of interest … Carrabba's closing … Feral cat fight  Credit: Newsday

Mini bus crash ... Suffolk conflict of interest ... Suozzi back on the Hill ... Students learn hip hop history 

Suffolk conflict of interest … Carrabba's closing … Feral cat fight  Credit: Newsday

Mini bus crash ... Suffolk conflict of interest ... Suozzi back on the Hill ... Students learn hip hop history 

Latest videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME