Gilgo Beach Murders: Rex Heuermann's family will file notice of claim

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, August 11, 2023
Gilgo Beach Murders: Rex Heuermann's family will file notice of claim
The family of Gilgo Beach suspect Rex Heuermann will file a notice of claim to "protect their rights" in the wake his arrest. Tom Negovan has the latest.

SUFFOLK COUNTY, New York (WABC) -- The family of Gilgo Beach suspect Rex Heuermann will file a notice of claim to "protect their rights" in the wake his arrest.

The attorneys representing the estranged wife and children of the suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer spoke out at news conference Friday afternoon.

Their attorneys would not elaborate what prompted the legal action, although they have previously cited the damages to their Massapequa Park home during law enforcement's 12-day search.

The lawyers also revealed that Heuermann's estranged wife, Asa Ellerup, is battling spreading breast and skin cancer, and her insurance is about to run out as she was covered under his policy.

She needs about 12 to 18 months more of treatment -- but will likely lose it in 60 days, they said.

Ellerup has spoken to Heuermann over the phone but has not visited him in jail.

The lawyers continued to say that the family had no knowledge of Heuermann's alleged crimes and that there is no soundproof room in the basement.

The attorneys also provided new photos of their damaged home in Massapequa Park. They say the family is spending so much time on their front porch because their home's interior was rendered all-but-inhabitable by police.

WATCH: Attorneys provide status update on Rex Heuermann's family

Attorney John Ray, who represents the family of some of the Gilgo Beach victims, says Heuermann's wife and kids should be treated not as victims, but suspects.

However, the suspect's family has not been accused of any involvement with the killings.

Earlier this week, Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge Timothy Mazzei ordered Heuermann to turn in a DNA swab.

Mazzei ruled "There is probable cause" to believe Rex Heuermann committed at least some of the Gilgo Beach murders "and, therefore, a basis to compel the buccal swab."

The judge said a comparison of Heuerman's direct DNA sample with the mitochondrial sample from a hair recovered from one of the victims and the DNA found on the pizza crust outside Heuermann's office "will yield probative material evidence, whether it is inculpatory or not."

A direct DNA sample could also be entered into statewide and nationwide databases. Mitochondrial DNA is ineligible.

The ruling comes after attorneys for accused Gilgo Beach serial killer opposed a request by prosecutors for a DNA swab from their client.

Heuermann pleaded not guilty in the killings of three women whose remains were found near Gilgo Beach in 2010. He is the prime suspect in a fourth murder as well.

While he has not yet been charged in that fourth homicide, the investigation "is expected to be resolved soon," the document says.


TIMELINE: Gilgo Beach murders: Complete timeline of events leading up to Rex Heuermann's arrest

EVIDENCE SEARCH: Gilgo Beach Murders: Police use excavating tools to dig up Rex Heuermann's backyard

The equipment is being used to determine if someone or something is buried underground on Rex Heuermann's property. Anthony Carlo and John Del Giorno report.

THE INVESTIGATION: | Rodney Harrison delves deeper into Gilgo Beach murder investigation

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison sits down with Eyewitness News reporter Chantee Lans to talk about the Gilgo Beach murder investigation, the events that led up to Rex Heuermann's arrest and what comes next.

THE VICTIMS: Who are the 'Gilgo Four?'

There are at least 10 victims in the long-unsolved string of killings on Long Island known as the Gilgo Beach murders. Stacey Sager has more.

CHILLING VOICEMAIL: Woman shares chilling voicemail left by Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann

One woman still had a voicemail from the alleged serial killer - the message was obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News. Anthony Carlo has the details.


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