The Case Against Rex Heuermann

The Case Against Rex Heuermann

Gilgo Beach Serial Killer Victims

Years before the 2010 discovery of one set of human remains at Oak Beach in Suffolk County, 10 people fell victim to suspected homicide. Multiple females, one male, and a toddler were robbed of their lives between 1993 and 2010.

November 1993 Sandra Costilla’s remains were found in North Sea by two hunters discovered 28-year-old Costilla’s body in a wooded area in North Sea, Southampton, on Nov. 21, 1993. She had been strangled to death and left partially clothed. Her remains were in the woods for several days prior to being discovered. Authorities identified Costilla by using her fingerprints, which had been entered into the system after she was arrested for jumping over a subway turnstile in 1992.

July 2003 dismembered body of Jessica Taylor was found. The remains were Taylor’s body, decapitated and with both arms severed. A tattoo on the torso had been obliterated with a sharp object to prevent her identity.

In 2010 Four women had been bound with tape or belts or wrapped in shrouds of camouflage-patterned burlap, the sort that hunters use for blinds. They had worked as escorts and had gone missing after going to meet a client. The bodies of the four victims – Maureen Brainard, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello – were found approximately 500 feet from each other.

Investigators focused on cell phone use from the beginning of the investigation into the Long Island serial killer. The victims, referred to as the “Gilgo Four,” posted advertisements on Craigslist and used their own cell phones to connect with clients. 2009 The authorities stated that the killer used Melissa Barthelemy’s cell phone to make several taunting phone calls to her family in Buffalo, N.Y. during the summer of 2009. These calls reportedly originated from towers near New York’s Penn Station and other areas of Manhattan.

2010 A witness reported seeing a dark green Chevy Avalanche parked outside the home of Amber Lynn Costello in Babylon, N.Y., the day before she disappeared in September 2010. The witness informed the police that Costello had a meeting with a client on the same day. The witness described the client as a white male, approximately 6’4″ to 6’6″ in height, in his mid-40s, with dark bushy hair, and big oval-style 1970s eyeglasses. This information is from court documents related to the case.

2021, investigators, including the FBI, used advanced phone analytics to focus on an area of Massapequa Park, located about 17 miles from Gilgo Beach, where they believed the killer likely lived. There was a specific area where our potential suspect was making these phone calls to the victims.

The next breakthrough in the case came when police revisited an old clue in March 2022. Investigators determined that Heuermann, who lived in Massapequa Park and matched the physical description, owned a Chevy Avalanche in 2010. Once they had established Heuermann as a suspect, they conducted surveillance on his daily life, issuing 300 subpoenas and search warrants to collect potential evidence.

January 2023, an undercover team watched from security cameras as Heuermann allegedly tossed a pizza box into a trash can outside of his midtown Manhattan office. The team retrieved the box, which contained a partial piece of pizza crust that was later tested for DNA. It proved to be a “99.96%” match to hair found on one of the victims at Gilgo Beach.

Gilgo Beach Victims

Melissa Barthelemy

July 12, 2009: Melissa Barthelemy

Megan Waterman

December 13, 2011 Megan Waterman

Jessica Taylor

July, 2005 Jessica Taylor Read More

Amber Costello

December 13, 2011 Amber Costello

December 13, 2011 Maureen Brainard-Barnes Read More

November 21, 1993 Sandra Costilla Read More

Gilgo Beach Timeline

1993 – 2011

Multiple Bodies Found

Multiple females, one male, and a toddler were robbed of their lives between 1993 and 2010. The pursuit of a 2010 missing persons search unveiled their remains across Long Island; and, one of the most consequential homicide investigations in the history of Long Island began.

MAY 1, 2010.

Shannan Gilbert disappeared

On the evening of May 1, 2010, 23-year-old Shannan Gilbert disappeared, reportedly running through the gated community of Oak Beach after leaving the home of a client. Gilbert was driven to Oak Beach by a driver, who later received a call from the client to take Gilbert home after she reportedly became irrational and erratic. Although multiple searches were conducted in the vicinity of where Gilbert was last seen, her body was not discovered until 18 months after she was first reported missing.

Dec 11, 2010

Jane Doe Number one found

On December 11, 2010, eight months after the search for Gilbert began, a Suffolk County Police Department Canine Unit continued the searched for Gilbert near her last known whereabouts. Instead of Gilbert, however, they uncovered human remains (Jane Doe Number one) that were later identified as 24-year-old Melissa Barthelemy.

dec 13, 2010

Jane Does Number two, three and four found

Two days after the discovery of Barthelemy, three additional victims (initially designated as Jane Does Number two, three and four) were located along Ocean Parkway. The remains were later identified as Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, Amber Lynn Costello, 27, and Megan Waterman, 22. All four women worked as Craigslist escorts and were last seen between July 2007 and September 2010.

dec 15, 2010

Commissioner Dormer

Commissioner Dormer said the bodies were deposited above ground in the same area, each 50 feet from the highway. They were spread over a quarter mile, each 500 feet from the next. But they were placed there at different times, judging by their varying degrees of decomposition, Commissioner Dormer said. 

“Obviously, it does not look like they were dumped at the same time,” he said. “A couple of them were there a year, or year and a half, or maybe two years. Not recent.” “Four bodies in pretty much the same location,” he added, “and that’s troublesome.” 

“It’s not a coincidence that four bodies turned up in the same location,” Commissioner Dormer said at a news conference at the department’s headquarters, in Yaphank. “It appears as though somebody targeted these individuals and dumped them.” 

“It looked like a car pulled up on the side of the roadway and dumped them in the bushes,” he added. “The bodies would indicate they were dumped there by the same person or persons.”

Mar 29, 2011

Jessica Taylor body found

Two days after the discovery of Barthelemy, three additional victims (initially designated as Jane Does Number two, three and four) were located along Ocean Parkway. The remains were later identified as Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, Amber Lynn Costello, 27, and Megan Waterman, 22. All four women worked as Craigslist escorts and were last seen between July 2007 and September 2010.

Apr 4, 2011

three more sets of remains were found

One set was that of a female toddler, another was a yet-to-be-identified Asian male, the third was initially referred to as Jane Doe Number six.

A week later, the investigation uncovered two additional sets of remains along Ocean Parkway in Nassau County. One set, through DNA analysis, was confirmed to be the mother of the female toddler. The mother’s partial remains were first discovered in Hempstead Lake State Park in 1997 and she has become known as “Peaches” due to a bitten heart-shaped tattoo of a peach on her body.

The other set discovered in Nassau County was genetically matched with remains discovered in 1996 in Davis Park on Fire Island, significantly expanding the timeline and geographic reach of the Gilgo Beach Homicide Investigation.

April 4, 2011, was confirmed by the Suffolk County Police Department’s Homicide Unit to match with remains discovered in Manorville on November 19, 2000. Recreational hunters came across these remains, a white female with brown hair, located off of Halsey Manor Road in a wooded area.

The investigation determined that these remains had been in this location since the end of 2000.

dec 11, 2011

Shannan Gilbert Body Found

Suffolk County Police found Shannan Gilbert’s purse and mobile phone in Oak Beach marshland. Two days later, a quarter-mile east of her belongings, Gilbert’s remains were located.

2012

James Burke became chief of the Suffolk County Police Department

Burke became chief of the Suffolk County Police Department in 2012 after having served for nearly a decade as the chief investigator for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. Prosecutors called Burke’s time as chief a “reign of terror.

Burke immediately blew up the investigation, dismantling the team that had handled the case and He immediately blocked FBI from the investigation. 

Burke was involved with Heather Maloney the woman involved with a prostitution ring the investigation into the deaths stalled, with Burke shutting down work on Gilbert’s case by labeling her death accidental, even though she had a wound in her neck consistent with a drill. Burke had a longstanding relationship with at least two sex workers, according to Ray. He met Lowrita Rickenbacker while patrolling the infamous Albany Ave in Wyandanch. The other was Heather Malone, who ran a prostitution ring out of her hair salon in St. James, going back to the early 1990s. Learn More About Chief Burke

jan 16, 2020

Commissioner Geraldine Hart released previously undisclosed evidence

2020, former Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart released previously undisclosed evidence to the public in an effort to advance the investigation. Police released photos of a belt believed to be handled by the suspect, not belonging to any of the victims.

may 28, 2020

Jane Doe Number six was identified as Valerie Mark

Mack’s remains were identified with the assistance of the F.B.I., using advanced forensic DNA technology.

Valerie Mack, who disappeared at the age of 24 while living in Philadelphia, worked as an escort, but is confirmed to have worked in Philadelphia and not New York. Mack also used the alias of ‘Melissa Taylor’ (no relationship with Jessica Taylor).

Mack’s family members provided additional DNA samples, and confirmed that they last saw Mack in the spring and summer of 2000 in Port Republic in New Jersey. While she was not reported missing, this information aligned with the previous determination that Mack’s remains were dumped in Manorville in 2000.

Feb 2022

formed a multiagency task force

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison formed a multi-agency task force to investigate the Gilgo Beach killings.

he task force included the Suffolk County Police Department, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police and the FBI.

Jan 2023

Suspect DNA

Investigators collected a sample of Heuermann’s DNA from leftover pizza box he threw in the trash according to the affidavit. Suffolk County Crime Lab recovered a male hair from the bottom of the burlap the killer used to wrap the body. Analysis of the DNA found on the victim and the pizza thrown out by Heuermann had a match.

Another hair found on the body came back as a positive match to Heuermann’s wife after the DNA from 11 bottles inside a garbage was collected by investigators outside of the Heuermann home.

July 2023

Rex Heuermann

Rex Heuermann suspect connected to some of the Gilgo Beach murders was taken into custody in New York City, marking the first arrest in the case, according to Harrison. He was transported back to Suffolk County Police headquarters in the hamlet of Yaphank on Long Island, the police commissioner said.

Police arrested architect Rex Heuermann, 59, Thursday night at his office in Manhattan.

More than a decade after 11 sets of human remains were found near a Long Island beach, architect Rex Heuermann was arrested and charged with the murders of three women and a Prime Suspect in the death of Ms. Brainard-Barnes.

Although the defendant is not yet charged with any crimes as to the disappearance and murder of Ms. Brainard-Barnes, as set forth below, Defendant Rex A. Heuermann is the prime suspect in her death and the investigation, which is continuing and is expected to be resolved soon. Moreover, there is substantial evidence of Defendant Heuermann’s involvement in the disappearance and death of Ms. Brainard-Barnes, which evidence closely fits the modus operandi of the Defendant in relation to the deaths of the other three women and which supports the current charges.

Four of the victims – known as the “Gilgo Beach 4” – have been connected to Heuermann, who is believed to be “LISK,”

December 2010, police found the bodies of four women, wrapped in burlap and hidden in thick underbrush along a remote beach highway that runs parallel to the ocean at Gilgo Beach, on the coast of Long Island, New York. Within a few months, they discovered six more bodies in the same area, including the skeleton of a toddler.

Because those four victims were all sex workers and their bodies had all been dumped in burlap sacks, investigators suspect the same killer was responsible.

All were petite females approximately 22 to 27 years old, believed to be working as sex workers, all had missing clothing and personal possessions, all had been killed by homicide, all had contact shortly before their disappearances with a person using a “burner” cellphone (i.e., cellphones without an associated verified identity), and the cellphones of two of the four victims, Brainard-Barnes and Barthelemy, were used by the killer after their deaths. In addition, each of the four victims were found similarly positioned, bound in a similar fashion by either belts or tape, with three of the victims found wrapped in a burlap-type material. *Some reports in 2010 – 2011 stated all four victims were wrapped in burlap. 

Discovery Timeline

February 3,1982

Tina Foglia

Partial remains were found by state highway workers who were picking up trash in several plastic bags along an exit ramp from the Southern State Parkway to the Sagtikos State Parkway in the North Bay Shore of Suffolk County, NY. According to a senior investigator, the Department of Transportation worker suspected the bags contained a body because of their shape, and as he got closer, he saw human hair.

February 3,1982

Tina Foglia

October 10, 1991

Tiffany Dixon

Tiffany Dixon disappeared on October 10 1991 while walking to school in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. She lived on Hart Street in Bushwick

October 10, 1991

Tiffany Dixon

October 10, 1991

Dicovery of Body Parts

Brainard-Barnes was found at Gilgo Beach

Cops discovered 13 body parts in a lot at 236 8th Street in Park Slope. It was the dismembered partial remains of a woman whose hands, feet, head, arms, and legs were cut into two were found. Later on, identified as Sandra Acosta. She’d been strangled to death, drained of blood, and dismembered at the shoulders, elbows, thighs, knees, and ankles with a knife and chainsaw. Sandra Acosta’s torso was never found.

October 10, 1991

Dicovery of Body Parts

October 10, 1991

Sandra Acosta

Sandra Acosta disappeared after last being seen at 185 Nevins Street in Brooklyn. Acosta was 4’11, 100 lbs and lived on Douglass Street in Park Slope.

October 10, 1991

Sandra Acosta

March 3, 1992

Becky Detres

Becky Detres

Two large garbage bags full of body parts in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Inside the two garbage bags were the dismembered remains of 27 year old Becky Detres. She’d been strangled and dismembered with a knife. Deters has grown up in Brooklyn and was short and thin with brown hair and eyes just like Sandra Acosta. Deters was known to use heroin and cocaine and reportedly worked as a sex worker, often around Classon Avenue and Fulton Street.

March 3, 1992

Becky Detres

1993

Sandra Costilla

Two hunters discovered 28-year-old Sandra Costilla's body in a wooded area in North Sea, Southampton, on Nov. 21, 1993

1993

Sandra Costilla

April 20, 1996

Jane Doe Seven - Karen Vergata

February 14, 1996: Karen Vergata last seen. Human remains were located in Davis Park on Fire Island. DNA later linked these remains to another set of remains on April 11, 2011, along Ocean Parkway, in Nassau County. These remains, known as Jane Doe Seven, were identified in July 2023 as Karen Vergata

April 20, 1996

Jane Doe Seven - Karen Vergata

June 28, 1997

Peaches

he dismembered torso of a young African-American female was found in Hempstead Lake State Park, New York. She had a tattoo of a heart-shaped peach on her left breast and was given the name "Peaches." Police estimate she had died less than 3 days before being discovered. Learn More About Peaches

June 28, 1997

Peaches

November 18, 2000

Valerie Mack

Remains of Manorville Jane Doe/Jane Doe number Six, later identified as Valerie Mack, are discovered in Manorville.

November 18, 2000

Valerie Mack

July 26, 2003

Jessica Taylor

Remains of Jessica Taylor are discovered in Manorville. Partial skeletal remains of Jessica Taylor were later located near Gilgo Beach on March 29, 2011

July 26, 2003

Jessica Taylor

August 11, 2003

Victoria Camara

Steven Webb, a gravel truck driver, discovered the body of a Hispanic female in the desert area just south of the haul road located approximately 1200 feet west of US 95, mile marker 52.

August 11, 2003

Victoria Camara

August 14, 2003

Jodi Marie Brewer

Jodi Marie Brewer disappeared from Las Vegas 20 years ago on Aug. 14, 2003, when she was 19

August 14, 2003

Jodi Marie Brewer

August 22, 2003

Victoria Camara body identified

The Clark County Coroner's Office confirmed the identity. It's believed Camara was murdered in the Las Vegas area; LVMPD homicide took over the investigation. Bolder City Police Detectives and LVMPD Detectives identified the body of the female as Victoria Camara.

August 22, 2003

Victoria Camara body identified

November 10, 2003

Body found in Manorville

A body was found south of the Long Island Expressway in Manorville. Hunters discovered the body in a wooded area several hundred yards from the expressway. Autopsy results were inconclusive (per the newspaper articles linked blow). The victim was Caucasian, 35 to 50 years old, about 5-foot-6 and had died up to four months earlier

November 10, 2003

Body found in Manorville

March 3, 2007

A suitcase containing the dismembered torso

A suitcase containing the dismembered torso of an unidentified Hispanic or light-skinned African-American female washed up on a beach at Harbor Island Park, in the town of Mamaroneck. The victim had a tattoo of two cherries on her left breast, which was similar in appearance to the tattoo found on Peaches. Never identified, the victim is referred to as "Cherries" by investigators. "Cherries" was dismembered in a fashion similar to three other victims: Jessica Taylor, "Peaches", and "Jane Doe No. 6", meaning she may be linked to the other official victims.

March 3, 2007

A suitcase containing the dismembered torso

July 9, 2007

Maureen Brainard-Barnes

Maureen Brainard-Barnes (25) was last seen in her room at the Super 8 Hotel in midtown Manhattan. She had left her home in Norwich, CT, to meet a client she had booked through Craigslist. She was reported missing on July 14, 2007. Maureen's body would be found on December 13, 2010, beside Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. She had been strangled

July 9, 2007

Maureen Brainard-Barnes

July 12, 2009

Melissa Barthelemy

Melissa Barthelemy (24) was last seen outside her apartment on Underhill Avenue in the Bronx. She had arranged for a $1,000 date with a client the next night somewhere on Long Island. After her disappearance, her sister received several phone calls from a man using Melissa's cell phone and claiming to be her killer.

July 12, 2009

Melissa Barthelemy

June 6, 2010

Megan Waterman

Security video footage shows Megan leaving the hotel alone at 1:30 AM. witness spotted Megan outside, walking toward a convenience store, and that was the last sighting of Megan Waterman. June 6 at 11: 00 am, Cruz called her grandmother in Scarborough (according to Megan’s mother) inquiring if they heard from Megan. He said she was missing. He said they had to wait 48 hours for the police to listen. Megan Waterman was 22 years old when she was last seen on June 6, 2010 leaving her hotel Holiday Inn Express, located at 2050 Express Drive South in Hauppauge.

June 6, 2010

Megan Waterman

September 2, 2010

Amber Lynn Costello

Amber Lynn Costello (27) was last seen by her roommate leaving her home in North Babylon to meet a client. The client had called three or four times and offered Amber $1,500 for her services.

September 2, 2010

Amber Lynn Costello

December 11, 2010

Melissa Barthelemy

During the search for Shannan Gilbert, the Suffolk County Police Department’s Canine Unit discovers human remains, later identified as Melissa Barthelemy.

December 11, 2010

Melissa Barthelemy

December 13, 2010

Police discovered Amber

Police discovered Amber's body on December 13, 2010, beside Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. She had been strangled.

December 13, 2010

Police discovered Amber

January 24, 2010

Police reveal the identities of victims

Police reveal the identities of three remaining victims: Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, Amber Lynn Costello. Megan Waterman These four victims are referred to as the "Gilgo Beach Four."

January 24, 2010

Police reveal the identities of victims

March 29, 2011

Jessica Taylor

Partial skeletal remains are located east of the December 2010 discovery site along Ocean Parkway, matching the remains of Jessica Taylor, previously located on January 26, 2003.

March 29, 2011

Jessica Taylor

March 29, 2011

additional remains of Jessica Taylor

Police return to Gilgo Beach to search for Shannan Gilbert. One mile East of the original site, police discover a skull, forearm, and hands. These would later be identified as additional remains of Jessica Taylor, whose torso was found in Manorville in 2003

March 29, 2011

additional remains of Jessica Taylor

March 30, 2011

Discovery of more possible human remain

Police confirm the discovery of human remains at a site east of the original search location. Police find a skull, hands, and forearm, later verified to be additional remains of Jessica Taylor, the woman whose torso was found in Manorville in 2003. Other human remains are also found along Ocean Parkway, three-quarters of a mile east of where the first four bodies were discovered.

March 30, 2011

Discovery of more possible human remain

March 31, 2011

Police discovered the fifth set of remains

Police discovered the fifth set of remains but those remains are not those of Shannan Gilbert.

March 31, 2011

Police discovered the fifth set of remains

April 4, 2011

Multiple victims Found

Three sets of remains are located along Ocean Parkway. One set is determined to be of a female toddler and another of an Asian male. Neither victim has been identified. The third set, known as Jane Doe Six, was later identified as Valerie Mack, whose partial remains were located in Manorville on November 19, 2000.

April 4, 2011

Multiple victims Found

April 4, 2011

The body of an Asian male

John Doe #8 - Found The body of an Asian male dressed in women’s clothing was discovered. The victim may have been transgender. The cause of death was determined to be blunt-force trauma to the head. Police believe he died sometime between five and ten years prior to his remains being found.. May have suffered from a musculoskeletal condition that affected their gait. Missing two molars as well as one of his top front teeth Predicted age between 17 and 23 Approximately 5ft6 in height He was wearing woman's clothing when he was found

April 4, 2011

The body of an Asian male

April 8, 2011

Taunting phone calls made by a killer

A series of taunting phone calls made to the Barthelemy sister of one of the victims — calls that the police suspect came from the killer — were made from in or around some of the most crowded locations in New York City, including Madison Square Garden and Times Square. Killer’s use of disposable cellphones to contact the four victims who have been identified — women in their 20s who advertised their services on Craigslist. The caller kept each of his vulgar, mocking and insulting calls to less than three minutes, according to the dead woman’s mother, Lynn Barthelemy. The caller made about a half-dozen calls over roughly five weeks to the victim’s sister.

April 8, 2011

Taunting phone calls made by a killer

April 11, 2011

Police uncover two more sets of remains in two separate locations.

The first discovery: female bones and jewelry found near the Jones Beach water tower. Described as "Jane Doe No. 3". DNA testing determines this is the same victim as Peaches and that she is the mother of the child (Baby Doe) found the week prior along Ocean Parkway. The second: a skull discovered west of Tobay Beach in Nassau County is later determined to be that of the Jane Doe No. 7 torso found in 1996 on Fire Island. A plastic bag containing upper and lower extremities was found near Jones Beach State Park. DNA testing later determined that this victim referred to as "Jane Doe #3," was the mother of the child found the week prior. A skull was discovered along Ocean Parkway west of Tobay Beach. This victim was referred to as "Jane Doe #7" and was later linked to the "Fire Island Jane Doe" whose legs were found in 1996 on Fire Island Police discovered skeletal human remains inside a plastic bag near Jones Beach State Park, referred to as "Jane Doe #3.

April 11, 2011

Police uncover two more sets of remains in two separate locations.

May 9. 2011

Spota There is no evidence that all of these remains are the work of a single killer;

There is no evidence that all of these remains are the work of a single killer; in light of the six latest discoveries, Spota revises his theory of the case, announcing “There is no evidence that all of these remains are the work of a single killer.”

May 9. 2011

Spota There is no evidence that all of these remains are the work of a single killer;

May 17, 2011

Police looking for possible links

Suffolk Police reveal they are reviewing other homicide cases for possible links to the bodies found along Ocean Parkway. The only case specifically mentioned is Tanya Rush, whose body was found on June 27, 2008 in Bellmore. The New York Post reported that Long Island police were revisiting other similar unsolved murders of prostitutes. Named in the article was Tanya Rush (39), a mother of three from Brooklyn whose dismembered body was found on June 27, 2008.

May 17, 2011

Police looking for possible links

September 11, 2011

The rest Remains Manorville Jane Doe

A skull, hands, and foot were found and referred to as "Jane Doe #6." These remains were later linked to the Manorville Jane Doe, whose torso was found in Manorville in 2000. Sketches were released in September 2011.3 An unidentified female toddler referred to as "Baby Doe." She was found wrapped in a blanket with no apparent signs of trauma.

September 11, 2011

The rest Remains Manorville Jane Doe

1993

Sandra Costilla

November 21, 1993 Body of Sandra Costilla was found.

1993

Sandra Costilla

November 11, 2011

More Remains Found

Two sets of remains are located off of Ocean Parkway in Nassau County, seven miles west of Gilgo Beach. One set of remains was determined to be the mother of the female toddler discovered on April 4, 2011. The second set, known as Jane Doe Seven, were confirmed to belong to the same victim whose remains were located in Davis Park in 1996.

November 11, 2011

More Remains Found

November 29, 2011

Police says Shannan Gilbert Not Connected

Richard Dormer reveals that police now believe one serial killer is responsible and that Shannan Gilbert's case is unconnected. Dormer states: "We believe that it's just a coincidence that she went missing in Oak Beach and the bodies were found on Gilgo Beach."

November 29, 2011

Police says Shannan Gilbert Not Connected

December 7, 2011

Shannan Gilbert’s phone and purse located.

December 2011, Suffolk County Police found Shannan Gilbert’s purse and mobile phone in Oak Beach marshland.

December 7, 2011

Shannan Gilbert’s phone and purse located.

December 9, 2011

Shannan Gilbert’s remains were located.

A quarter-mile east of her belongings, Shannan Gilbert’s remains were located.

December 9, 2011

Shannan Gilbert’s remains were located.

December 14, 2011

Shannan Gilbert’s First autopsy

The Suffolk County medical examiner took four days to perform an autopsy, but Richard Dormer preemptively announced Shannan's death as an accidental drowning due to the location of her body without having the results, which rightfully angered her surviving family members. Soon after, an official ruling could not be concluded, thus determining Shannan's death as inconclusive.

December 14, 2011

Shannan Gilbert’s First autopsy

February 17, 2012

Skeletal remains discovered

Skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area off North Street, west of Wading River Road. The body was wrapped in bed sheets, a plastic bag, and duct tape. Police determined the victim was a male and estimated the body had been there for at least five years.

February 17, 2012

Skeletal remains discovered

March 21, 2012

Body was discovered in Manorville

A female body was discovered in a heavily wooded Manorville Hills County Park area about 100 yards off the nearest dirt road. The body had been in a wooded area for "at least a week." Police stated the case was being treated as a homicide but declined to describe any obvious wounds found on the body.

March 21, 2012

Body was discovered in Manorville

November 15, 2012

A lawsuit was filed by mother, Mari Gilbert

A lawsuit was filed by her mother, Mari Gilbert, against the Suffolk County Police Department in the hopes of getting more answers about what happened to her daughter the night she went missing.

November 15, 2012

A lawsuit was filed by mother, Mari Gilbert

December 12, 2012

stolen bag from Chief of Police James Burke’s SUV

Christopher Loeb stole a bag from Suffolk Chief of Police James Burke’s SUV. While Loeb was in police custody he was threatened and assaulted by Burke, who allegedly coerced police who witnessed the incident to lie to federal investigators about what they saw. The bag contained Burke’s gun belt, ammunition, sex toys, pornography, and other items. According to Loeb the pornography was snuff films depicting a woman being tortured.

December 12, 2012

stolen bag from Chief of Police James Burke’s SUV

January 5, 2013

FBI investigation into Burke

May 2013, the FBI and the US Attorney's Office opened an investigation into alleged actions by Burke when employed as Chief of the Suffolk County Police Department, namely the alleged assault of a suspect in police custody, a subsequent cover-up, and coercion of witnesses

January 5, 2013

FBI investigation into Burke

January 23, 2013

The remains of a woman were discovered intentionally buried in a small piece of brush

The remains of a woman were discovered intentionally buried in a small piece of brush in a sandy area along the shore at the end of Sheep Lane in Lattingtown, near Oyster Bay. The remains are believed to be of a woman between the ages of 20 and 30, possibly Asian. She was wearing a 22-karat gold pig pendant, which may be a reference in some Asian cultures to "The Year of the Pig." There was trauma caused to her bones. Investigators believe she was buried before Hurricane Sandy in late 2012.

January 23, 2013

The remains of a woman were discovered intentionally buried in a small piece of brush

March 16, 2013

Natasha Jugo

Natasha Jugo (31) was last seen leaving her home near Alley Pond Park, Queens. Her car was found along Ocean Parkway and some of her clothes and belongings were found in the sand near Gilgo Beach the following day. Jugo was described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 120 pounds, with brown eyes and blonde hair. She was last seen wearing a black robe, pink pajamas, a gray hooded sweatshirt, a black coat, and black boots. Jugo's family said that she had "a history of problems in which she thought people were following her". Police are unsure whether the case is connected to the LISK victims."

March 16, 2013

Natasha Jugo

June 24, 2013

Natasha Jugo Body Discovered

Natasha Jugo's body was discovered washed up on Gilgo Beach.

June 24, 2013

Natasha Jugo Body Discovered

September 5, 2014

2nd Autopsy Shannan Gilbert

Due to the controversy about Shannan Gilbert's death, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden agreed to conduct an independent autopsy of her remains in hopes of determining a clear cause of death. Upon examination of Gilbert's remains, Baden found damage to her hyoid bone, suggesting that strangulation may have occurred. Baden also noted that her body was found face-up, which is not common for drowning victims. Despite this, her death is still officially listed by police as an accident

September 5, 2014

2nd Autopsy Shannan Gilbert

October 5, 2015

Burke, who resigned & was reported to have blocked FBI involvement

October 2015, was reported that Burke to have blocked FBI involvement in the Gilgo Beach cases for years. The FBI had previously assisted in the search for victims but had never officially been a part of the investigation. In November 2016, Burke was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for assault and conspiracy.

October 5, 2015

Burke, who resigned & was reported to have blocked FBI involvement

December 10, 2015

FBI had officially joined the investigation

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini announced that the FBI had officially joined the investigation. The day before, former Police Commissioner James Burke resigned in October and was indicted for alleged police brutality and other issues. He was said to have blocked FBI involvement in the LISK cases for years. A spokesperson for the FBI confirmed their official involvement. The FBI had previously assisted in the search for victims but was never officially part of the investigation.

December 10, 2015

FBI had officially joined the investigation

July 23, 2016

Mari Gilbert, was murdered in her home in Ellenville, New York

Shannan Gilbert’s mother, Mari Gilbert, was murdered in her home in Ellenville, New York. Later that day, her younger daughter, Sarra Elizabeth Gilbert, was arrested and charged with the stabbing death of her mother

July 23, 2016

Mari Gilbert, was murdered in her home in Ellenville, New York

Gilgo Beach Murders Case

Investigation

Police Chief James Burke, the former officer in charge of the investigation, did not comply with the FBI on the case.

On December 10, 2015, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini announced that the FBI had officially joined the investigation.

The announcement came one day after former police chief James Burke was indicted for civil rights violations and conspiracy.

Burke, who resigned from the department in October 2015, was reported to have blocked FBI involvement in the Gilgo Beach cases for years

Investigation Task Force

The murders remained unsolved for years and eventually Patrick Portela, the lead detective investigating the Gilgo Four, was removed from the case.

February 2022 Investigation Task Force was created.

Only then Investigators turned attention to a tip from a witness about a pickup trip that later connected them to the suspect Rex Heuermann & arrested him on July 13.

July 25 search of Heuermann Home police found 279 weapons, iin a basement vault and more than 90 handgun permits

LISK Victims