The man suspected of taking the lives of three prostitutes in Gilgo Beach, New York, years ago has been charged with a fourth killing.
The fresh charges on Tuesday against the suspect identified as Rex Heuermann are in regard to the death of 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes, according to NBC News. The outlet noted her remains were found near Gilgo Beach, however, Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to the recent charge.
According to ABC News, the victim worked as an escort:
BREAKING: The alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann has been charged with the murder of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who disappeared in 2007 while working as an escort. https://t.co/DL4H5sFsg7 pic.twitter.com/kVMHqFMrC7
— ABC News (@ABC) January 16, 2024
Heuermann was previously charged in the deaths of 24-year-old Melissa Barthelemy, 22-year-old Megan Waterman, and 27-year-old Amber Costello. Their bodies were discovered in tall grasses near Gilgo Beach.
The suspect was identified and arrested in July after more than a decade of Long Island authorities trying to find him, Breitbart News reported at the time.
The recent NBC News report cited court papers that said Brainard-Barnes, whose daughter was seven years old at the time of her mother’s death, had been tied up with three leather belts.
Rex Heuermann has now been charged with murder in the killing of Maureen Brainard-Barnes. https://t.co/zXkVUKWfhd
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) January 16, 2024
Hair from a woman was later found on a buckle attached to one of the belts. Authorities say it linked Heuermann to the crime. The outlet continued:
Heuermann was connected to the deaths of Barthelemy, Waterman and Costello in part by his wife’s hair, officials said. It was found at the crime scenes and led authorities to believe that items used in the killings, such as burlap sacks and tape, came from their home.
Cellphone data and DNA obtained from a discarded slice of pizza were also used to link Heuermann to the deaths, authorities said. The court documents released Tuesday also detailed how under-cover agents followed Heuermann’s 26-year-old daughter onto the Long Island Rail Road and used her discarded Java Monster can to link him to the slayings.
When speaking to the media on Tuesday, Heuermann’s attorney said, “We entered a not guilty plea this morning,” adding the suspect has maintained his innocence throughout the entire investigation:
— Court TV (@CourtTV) January 16, 2024
During a recent news conference, Brainard-Barnes’ daughter told listeners that losing her mother changed the trajectory of her life. She also recalled how she used to read to her as a child but now she can no longer remember what her mother’s voice sounded like.
“I wish she was here today, but she was taken from us,” the young woman added.
Following his arrest in July, Heuermann, who worked as an architect, reportedly asked officers taking him to jail, “Is it in the news?”
During a press conference after the man’s arrest, an official told reporters, “Rex Heuermann is a demon that walks among us, a predator that ruined families.”