The attorney for two Gilgo Beach victims’ families whose cases remain unresolved is casting doubt on prosecutors’ conclusions regarding the death of one of his clients and whether the suspected killer’s wife was out of town during the murders as investigators have maintained.
If the attorney for several Gilgo victims’ families is right that Rex Heuermann’s wife played a role assisting her suspected serial killer husband, the entire case against him would fall apart due to “reasonable doubt,” Asa Ellerup’s lawyer argues, while denying the allegations.
Although Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney has said repeatedly that Ellerup was out of town during each of the murders her husband is accused of committing, attorney John Ray questioned that conclusion Tuesday night at a symposium he hosted at St. John’s University in Queens.
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If Tierney is wrong about Ellerup, the entire case could fall apart, her lawyer, Bob Macedonio, told Fox News Digital.
“When, in the course of any investigations on any criminal matters, do they do that up front in a bail application?” he said. “Very, very rarely. … If he’s wrong, it creates reasonable doubt in his whole case.”
But, according to Ray, he spoke to a hotel manager who told him Ellerup and her children arrived in Atlantic City later than when investigators believe they did, which would mean they would have been in town during at least one of the murders.
Macedonio has denied that claim outright and sent a letter to the hotel Ray identified demanding it either disclose the employee responsible for a “breach” of his client’s confidential information or comment on the record if the claim is untrue.
Ray also said he has a witness who met the suspected killer and his wife at a “swinger party” in 1996, another claim Macedonio has vehemently rejected.
“The DA’s statement would be a potential problem if it were wrong,” said Neama Rahmani, a Los Angeles-based former federal prosecutor with no ties to the case. “But why would the DA argue something they were unsure of?”
Ray represents the family of Shannan Gilbert, the 25-year-old woman who vanished May 1, 2010, after telling a 911 dispatcher, “There’s somebody after me.” Gilbert’s disappearance kicked off an investigation that ultimately uncovered 11 bodies along a stretch of Ocean Parkway, about 45 miles east of New York City.
The remains included the “Gilgo Four” — Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Costello, 27. Their families are being represented by another prominent attorney, Gloria Allred, who made a surprise appearance at Heuermann’s most recent court date in January, when Suffolk County prosecutors announced the charges in Brainard-Barnes’ death.
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Their bodies were disposed of near one another and under similar circumstances. Heuermann is facing murder charges in each of their deaths.
“The FBI, Suffolk detectives, deputy sheriffs, everybody across the law enforcement board has eliminated Asa and Victoria (Heuermann) as suspects and as even being in the jurisdiction during any of the four homicides,” Macedonio said.
Further along the highway, police found seven additional sets of remains, including Gilbert’s.
Police said in 2022 they believed Gilbert died accidentally while running in the marsh after placing an erratic 911 call in which she sounded heavily inebriated and disoriented while pleading for help.
A task force investigating the Gilgo Beach murders is still examining the remaining deaths, Tierney said.
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“Shannan came from a house party, which was no relation to any of Rex’s allegations of being at house parties up there,” Macedonio said. “And you look at serial killers, serial killers work alone. They don’t work in teams.”
Ray said he has witnesses who linked Heuermann to Gilbert’s death and to the disappearance of Karen Vergata, who was last seen alive on Valentine’s Day in 1996.
Vergata’s hands and feet were recovered in 1996 on Fire Island, which is to the east of Gilgo Beach.
However, she was not identified until earlier this year.
There could be a financial payout for the victim’s families if Ellerup is somehow linked to the crimes. She is divorcing her architect husband and recently signed a deal for a streaming documentary with 50 Cent as the producer.
“A lot of people think Ellerup knew what Heuermann was up to, even if she didn’t actually participate in the murders as an accomplice or accessory,” Rahmani said. “At a minimum, there are allegations that Ellerup was present at the sex parties and lied about being out of town when the murders happened.”
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Those allegations were raised in an affidavit last year by an anonymous witness who appeared in person at Ray’s symposium Tuesday and elaborated on the claim.
“That’s why I’m surprised Ellerup is participating in the Peacock documentary,” Rahmani added. “She may need the money, but she also has potential criminal exposure.”
While former Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison once stood beside Ray during a press conference on the explosive allegations, Tierney’s office responded with a press release noting that private attorneys for families are not part of the law enforcement task force.
“Any citizen who believes that they have relevant evidence regarding the Gilgo Beach investigation should report it to the investigative agencies that comprise the Task Force,” he said at the time. “Those agencies are the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Suffolk County Police Department’s Homicide Bureau, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
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