Massapequa Park neighbors awoke Monday to a large police presence and a new search of the home of alleged serial killer Rex A. Heuermann. NewsdayTV's Steve Langford reports. Credit: Newsday Staff; File Footage; Photo Credit: Newsday / James Carbone; SCPD

Investigators are back searching alleged Gilgo Beach killer Rex A. Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home, nearly one year after he was charged in the killings of women whose remains were found in the seaside community in December 2010.

State troopers blocked traffic onto First Avenue near Heuermann’s home early Monday morning while several command center vehicles from different law enforcement agencies, including Suffolk County police, were parked directly outside.

Law enforcement officials could be seen entering and exiting the home while members of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting Heuermann, stood by.

By late morning, investigators had erected a table and tent in front of the home where they began stocking boxes of material, enclosing the tent in a white fabric, blocking cameras from seeing what was being brought from the home.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Investigators are back searching alleged Gilgo Beach killer Rex A. Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home, nearly one year after he was charged in the killings of women whose remains were found in the seaside community in December 2010.
  • State troopers blocked traffic onto First Avenue near Heuermann’s home Monday morning while several command center vehicles from different law enforcement agencies, including Suffolk County police, were parked outside.
  • Law enforcement erected a table and tent in front of the home where they began stocking boxes of material by late morning. Moments later, authorities enclosed the tent in a white fabric, blocking cameras from seeing what was being brought from the home.

Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commanding officer of the Suffolk Police Homicide Squad, was among law enforcement present at the home, though Suffolk police and Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney declined to discuss the search.

“As [the DA] has previously stated, the work of the Gilgo Beach Homicide Task Force is continuing,” Tierney spokesperson Tania Lopez said. “We do not comment on investigative steps while ongoing.”

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, speaking at a media event at the police academy, said he was informed about the search last week since it was being executed at a home in his county.

“I would assume this would be shorter than last time,” Ryder said of the renewed investigation. “They know what they’re looking for. So they’re going back in with the court’s approval.”

Ryder declined to comment on potential arrests or the nature of the search warrants.

“When the district attorney gets a warrant, he knows what he’s doing,” the commissioner said.

Heuermann’s attorney, Michael J. Brown, of Central Islip, acknowledged the warrant was being executed but said he did not have any additional information.

Sources familiar with the investigation said only Heuermann’s daughter, Victoria, was home when investigators arrived at the house Monday morning.

Robert Macedonio, an attorney for Heuermann’s estranged wife, Asa Ellerup, said his client and her son are away on a previously scheduled vacation to South Carolina. Macedonio said the family had no advance warning of the search and did not know why exactly police returned.

“There have been no [new] arrests made nor are we anticipating any for the family,” said Macedonio, who instructed Ellerup to remain out of town until after the police conclude their search.

Attorney Vess Mitev, who represents the adult children of Heuermann and Ellerup, said his clients are hopeful law enforcement will conduct the search warrant with “appropriate and necessary” safeguards, after they found their personal property was damaged during the search last year.

“Obviously, my clients have a very visceral reaction to any search of their home, given what's already transpired in this case,” said Mitev, of Stony Brook.

A media contingent was stationed in the same spot where they camped in July waiting for information as a huge police presence swarmed Heuermann’s home Monday morning.

Suffolk County police, crime scene investigators and state police continued to carry out boxes of evidence under white tents at the entrance to the Heuermann home into the later afternoon.

Some officers were going through evidence at folding tables. One officer was seen wheeling a dolly into the home earlier in the day and were assisted by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

An eerily similar crime scene was erected in front of the home, the same way it was in July while news crews were stationed across the street.

Neighbors and true crime fans came to gawk and take pictures of the notorious house and wondered aloud what police could be searching for.

The search comes nearly 10 months after police completed an exhaustive search of the First Avenue home in July, which Tierney described as a “painstaking” search for forensic evidence and so-called “trophies” that could further implicate Heuermann in the murders of four women whose remains were found at Gilgo Beach.

Macedonio called the previous search of the house “one of the most extensive search warrants I’ve ever seen.”

Michael Alcazar, a retired NYPD detective and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said a fresh look at a house that was so thoroughly searched last year would likely be “target specific.”

“We know that they tore that house down, ripped pipes out,” Alcazar said of the previous law enforcement effort. “I don’t know if it’s something in the structure of the house or something they recently found and are trying to link it to the house.”

“They’re definitely keeping their cards close to the vest, so we don’t know what they have,” he continued. “But they had something for them to go there today.”

Alcazar said he expects detectives will again perform a “meticulous and methodical” search likely lasting multiple days.

“It’s just like when we work a cold case, we’re not going to look back at the previous reports … we’re going to start fresh,” Alcazar said of investigators. “So when they execute this search warrant, they're going to conduct it like they've never been there before, so they don't miss anything.”

The search also comes just three weeks after the Gilgo Beach Task Force conducted a nine-day search of thousands of acres of Manorville woodlands, an effort that concluded May 1. Investigators have not said what was found during that effort or if it ties directly to the Heuermann case.

Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann appears in...

Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann appears in a Riverhead courtroom on Feb. 6. Credit: James Carbone

Heuermann, 60, was arrested in New York City July 13. The following afternoon he pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree murder charges in the killings of Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Lynn Costello, whose remains were found near Gilgo Beach more than 13 years ago.

He again pleaded not guilty in January to the superseding indictment, which added a fourth count of second-degree murder in the slaying of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, whose remains were found near the other 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.

Prosecutors have said Heuermann had hundreds of contacts with sex workers in the years before he was arrested. He was connected to the crime primarily through cell site data, burner phone records and DNA evidence linking him to the women and the location where the bodies were found, prosecutors have said.

Heuermann has not returned to the house as he has been held without bail at the Suffolk County jail since his arrest. He is due back before State Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei for a conference June 18.

The initial search of Heuermann’s home — which coincided with warrants executed for storage space he rented, the Manhattan office of his architecture firm and a vehicle kept at his brother’s home in South Carolina — lasted 12 days.

During the July 2023 search, police used scanning technology to identify “disturbances” in the ground outside Heuermann’s property, Tierney said at the time. An excavator dug up the yard, and investigators with shovels could be seen scraping through freshly upturned earth, but did not yield any “large items of evidence,” the district attorney said.

That search did turn up more than 280 weapons kept inside a thick basement vault large enough for a person to walk into, Tierney said at the time. Police also took boxes of additional evidence from the house, which Tierney had described as a “very cluttered environment.”

Some of the guns found in the home could lead to additional charges from the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, prosecutors have said.

In Massapequa Park Monday morning, neighbors said they were frustrated that the police and media presence had returned.

“I wish it would go away,” said Louise Coole, who lives six houses away from Heuermann. “Dig up everything you need to do and just do away with it.”

Tom Pfeiffer, of Massapequa, who walked to the scene Monday morning with his wife, said he felt sympathy for all involved.

“Here it is again,” he said. “Hopefully they can solve this for the family. I feel bad for the family and what they’re going through.”

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