Accused Gilgo Beach killer Rex Heuermann appears before Judge Timothy P....

Accused Gilgo Beach killer Rex Heuermann appears before Judge Timothy P. Mazzei in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead in August. Credit: James Carbone

Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann has been served with divorce papers inside the Suffolk County Jail and is not contesting the end of his marriage, a document obtained by Newsday shows.

Heuermann, 60, of Massapequa Park, signed the admission of service on Sept. 22, when he was served the summons and complaint in his pending divorce from his estranged wife, Asa Ellerup, according to the document and online court records.

Ellerup filed for divorce six days after Heuermann was arrested July 13 on murder charges in the killings of three women whose remains were found near Gilgo Beach 13 years ago. The couple has been married for 27 years.

Gilgo Beach serial killings

More than a decade after the remains of 10 victims were found off Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach, Rex A. Heuermann has been charged with murder in three cases and is a prime suspect in a fourth.

Who is Rex Heuermann? The Massapequa Park architect lived in a rundown house and had strained interactions with neighbors. His second wife filed for divorce days after his arrest.

The victims: Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Lynn Costello were young women who were sex workers. Their bodies were discovered after another woman, Shannan Gilbert, made a frantic 911 call from the area that set off a police search.

The case: Investigators used DNA from pizza crust and stray hairs to tie the victims to Heuermann; burner cellphone data and a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche also are key evidence in the investigation. 

The search: Police retrieved more than 200 guns from Heuermann's home and searched two Amityville storage facilities for evidence, including evidence connected to the victims.

Timeline: Key moments in the investigation, from the discovery of several sets of remains in 2010 to Heuermann’s arrest.

Full coverage of the Gilgo Beach serial killings

“I do not intend to respond to the Summons, or appear in the action, or answer the Complaint and I waive the twenty (20) day period provided by law to appear and answer the Complaint,” read the document that Heuermann signed. “I consent to the entry of a default judgment of divorce against me. … I waive the service of all further papers in this action except for a Judgment of Divorce.”

Heuermann does not have an attorney on record in the divorce proceeding. Heuermann’s attorney in his pending criminal case, Michael J. Brown, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Brown said last week that Heuermann communicates by phone with Ellerup.

Asa Ellerup sits in the office of her divorce attorney, Robert Macedonio,...

Asa Ellerup sits in the office of her divorce attorney, Robert Macedonio, in Central Islip in July. Credit: James Carbone

Robert Macedonio, Ellerup’s divorce attorney, confirmed that Heuermann had been served but declined to comment further. A spokeswoman for the jail did not immediately respond.

Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with first and second-degree murder in the killings of Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Lynn Costello, whose remains were found near Gilgo Beach beginning in 2010. 

Prosecutors have said Heuermann, who worked as a Manhattan architect before his arrest, is also the “prime suspect” in the slaying of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, whose remains were found with the other three victims. All four of the women — the first of 10 sets of remains found along Ocean Parkway that are believed to be the work of one or more serial killers — were sex workers. 

Heuermann appeared briefly in court last week in Riverhead — his third courtroom appearance since his July arrest — during which prosecutors revealed that a cheek swab, obtained from Heuermann by court order since he’s been in custody, matched a mitochondrial DNA profile that authorities who were surveilling Heuermann developed from a pizza crust and “used napkin” that allegedly was discarded in Manhattan. Prosecutors have said that the mitochondrial DNA profile developed from the abandonment sample — the pizza and napkin — could not be excluded as a match to a hair found at the bottom of burlap used to “restrain and transport” the remains of Waterman, one of the victims.

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said last week that the cheek swab DNA “just erases all doubt.”

Prosecutors have also said cellphone site data and burner phones purportedly used by Heuermann link him to the crimes.

Brown, Heuermann’s criminal defense attorney, has said his client has professed his innocence and is actively working on his defense.

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