Rex Heuermann’s wife has made her first appearance at one of her husband’s court hearings as she vows to hear for herself what evidence investigators say proves he is the notorious Gilgo Beach serial killer.
Asa Ellerup, who shares two adult children with the accused murderer, arrived at Suffolk County criminal court at around 9am on Wednesday, flanked by her attorney Robert Macedonio.
Dressed in a teal blouse and white sweater, she made no comment to members of the media gathered to cover the high-profile case.
Mr Macedonio told local outlet PIX11 that Ms Ellerup was planning to attend the hearing – and the entirety of her husband’s upcoming trial – so that she can hear for herself the horrific crimes that the man she has spent more than two decades of her life with allegedly committed.
The 59-year-old does not want to watch, read or listen to what evidence is laid out in the courtroom indirectly from other people reporting, her attorney said.
In the brief hearing, Mr Heuermann’s legal team requested that prosecutors hand over all investigative notes in the case dating back to 2010 – when the first bodies were discovered along Gilgo Beach.
The court also heard how investigators took a staggering 13,000 photos during the weeks-long search of the home in Massapequa Park that Mr Heuermann shared with his wife and their two adult children up until his arrest.
It emerged this week that the accused killer has signed over full ownership of the property to his wife following his arrest – while reports also revealed that Ms Ellerup is working with a streaming service on some sort of TV appearance.
Mr Heuermann grew up in the property and bought it from his own parents two decades ago.
Suffolk County officials said that they now fear some of the victims could have been killed inside the home.
It’s now been four months since Mr Heuermann was arrested and charged with three of the murders that had rocked the Long Island community of Gilgo Beach for more than a decade.
Ms Ellerup and the couple’s adult children Victoria Heuermann, 26, and Christopher Sheridan, 33, are said to have been blindsided by his shock arrest.
Court documents laying out the case against the 60-year-old Manhattan architect have stated that his family members were out of town at the time of the killings.
Vess Mitev, an attorney representing the adult children, previously told The Independent that the family was simply trying to survive after being thrust into the national spotlight over their family member’s alleged crimes.
“The Heuermann children have been living in a constant, surreal, waking nightmare,” he said.
“Just because the news coverage doesn’t continue or it’s not in the news on a daily basis each day, for them it’s every day, it’s every moment. It’s the moment they wake up to the moment they go back to sleep again.
“It’s a situation you wouldn’t want to wish on anyone. It’s not a reality.”
He added: “Their focus has just been on managing their basic daily needs. We have specific, fundamental needs that we require to survive as people and that has really been their primary goal as their resources have been depleted completely or are no longer available to them.
“Their basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and a safe space to sleep in have been all but obliterated. They’re trying to piece back together those very basic but yet so vital things that most of us take for granted.”
Ms Ellerup filed for divorce just six days after her husband’s arrest.
After several months, her attorney revealed last week that she visited Mr Heuermann for the first time at the Suffolk County Jail in Yaphank.
Mr Heuermann is currently charged with the murders of three women Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Costello.
He has also been named the prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes – who was last seen alive in early June 2007 in New York City.
The four women, together known as the “Gilgo Four”, all worked as sex workers and disappeared after going to meet a client.
Their bodies were found in December 2010 within one-quarter mile of each other, bound by belts or tape and some wrapped in burlap – all dumped along Gilgo Beach.
In total, the remains of 11 victims were found along the shores of Long Island in 2010 and 2011, sparking fears of one or more serial killers.
The case began back in May 2010 when Shannan Gilbert, a young woman working as a sex worker, vanished after leaving a client’s house on foot near Gilgo Beach. She called 911 for help saying she feared for her life and was never seen alive again.
During a search for Gilbert in dense thicket close to the beach, police discovered human remains. Within days, four victims had been found.
By spring 2011, the number of victims rose to 10.
Gilbert’s body was then found in December 2011. Her cause of death is widely contested with authorities long claiming that it is not connected to the serial killer or killers but that she died from accidental drowning as she fled from the client’s home.
However, an independent autopsy commissioned by her family ruled that she died by strangulation and her family continue to believe she was murdered.
No charges have been brought in connection to the other victims also found along the shores.
Court records show that Mr Heuermann was linked to the “Gilgo Four” murders through a tip about his pickup truck, a stash of burner phones, “sadistic” online searches and phone calls taunting victims’ families.
His DNA was also found on one of the victims, while his wife’s hair was found on three of the four women he is connected to, according to prosecutors.
Investigators are continuing to work to determine if Mr Heuermann is also linked to any of the other victims – while law enforcement officials across the country are probing cold case murders for any potential ties.