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DNA found on Gilgo Beach murder victims matches suspect's wife, reports say

Joseph Wilkinson, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK — DNA from the wife of suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann was found on the victims’ bodies, according to multiple reports.

Asa Ellerup, 59, has not been considered a suspect in the case, as prosecutors said she was out of town when the victims were killed.

However, investigators matched her DNA to samples collected from the victims’ bodies, sources told Newsday and ABC News. Cops took a cheek swab from Ellerup on July 13, the same day Heuermann was arrested.

Police also used DNA evidence to tie Heuermann to the murders, matching DNA from his cheek and his discarded pizza crust to DNA found on the victims’ remains.

Heuermann has been formally charged with the murders of three sex workers: Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Costello. He is also the prime suspect in the killing of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard Barnes, but has not been charged in that case.

In 2010 and 2011, the bodies of 11 people were found on and near Gilgo Beach. Heuermann has not been publicly linked to the other seven victims.


Ellerup filed for divorce from Heuermann days after he was charged with the three murders. She has visited him at least once in Suffolk County Jail.

Prosecutors have said Ellerup was out of town when Waterman, Barthelemy and Costello were killed. She was in Iceland when Barthelemy disappeared in July 2009, Maryland when Waterman was seen on video with the suspected killer in June 2010, and Colorado when Costello disappeared in September 2010.

Investigators turned the couple’s Massapequa Park house inside out in their search for evidence over 12 days in July. Ellerup said neighbors wanted it torn down.

“The people in this neighborhood, they want this house gone,” she told the New York Daily News. “They want it bulldozed, you understand? They want it gone.”


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