A Long Island judge has ordered accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann to submit to a cheek swab for DNA testing in the high-profile murder case – despite pleas from his attorney.
In a three-page ruling, Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge Timothy Mazzei overruled the objections of the alleged killer’s lawyers and ordered the test.
“The court finds that contrary to the defendant’s assertions, there are probable grounds to believe that the defendant committed the crimes charged and, therefore, a basis to compel the mouth swab,” Mazzei wrote.
The decision presents a major setback for Heuerman, a 59-year-old architect charged with three counts of murder in the deaths of three women whose bodies were found abandoned along Gilgo Beach in December 2010.
Their deaths remained unsolved until last year, when Suffolk County cops reopened the case and identified Heuermann as the suspect based on phone records, eyewitness accounts and a single lock of hair found on one of the bodies that “was linked by DNA analysis to a person of Caucasian/European descent,” Mazzei wrote.
Police and prosecutors say that led them to Heuermann, who was arrested outside his Midtown offices on July 13 and charged with the murders of Amber Lynn Costello, Megan Waterman and Melissa Barthelemy, all of whom have been identified by cops as sex workers.
Heuermann is also the prime suspect in the death of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, with the four victims collectively known as the “Gilgo Four”.
The damning lock of hair, which matched DNA taken from a towel and pizza crust thrown away near the accused killer’s desk, was found in a burlap sack used to conceal Waterman’s body.
Danielle Coysh, a member of Heuermann’s legal team, had argued that prosecutors still did not have enough “probable cause” to take a new DNA sample from her client.
“The claims in the People’s moving papers could be construed as rising to the level of reasonable suspicion, but this falls far short of the standard of probable cause required to justify granting the order sought by the People. “, Coysh wrote in court. papers.
The judge, however, thought otherwise.
New York State and Suffolk County police also combed Heuermann’s home in Massapequa Park for body parts or ‘trophies’ from the grisly murders, even digging up the backyard .
Cops said they found a concrete-lined gun safe, but did not disclose whether any evidence was recovered that could link the hulking architect to the murders.
Meanwhile, Heuermann’s wife filed for divorce after the arrest, with police saying she told cops she was “shocked” and “disgusted” by the allegations against him.
“I woke up in the middle of the night shivering,” Asa Ellerup told the Post last month.
“My kids cry to sleep,” Ellerup said. “I mean, they’re not children. They are adults, but they are my children.
Ellerup, 59, and her two children – Christopher Sheridan, 33, and Victoria Heuermann, 26 – returned home after police ended their 12-day search last month to find it in ruins.