With Rex Heuermann charged with 2 more Long Island murders, investigators are trying to find out how deep the case goes

The New York Times

A deleted document that investigators recovered from a laptop may be the key to establishing intent in the case against Rex Heuermann, who has been charged with the murders of six women over several decades, Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney told ABC News on Friday.
That document, which investigators described as a “planning document,” was discovered in a veritable mountain of electronic devices and files recovered during the investigation, Tierney said.
Prosecutors allege it was used by Heuermann to “methodically blueprint and plan out his kills with excruciating detail.”
Investigators on the case said they found the document as they worked through a wealth of tech items recovered during the investigation.
These developments expand the timeline in the Gilgo Beach case by a full decade.
Investigators have spent months essentially going “back in time” through the “tremendous” amount of evidence in the Heuermann case, Tierney said.
ABC News asked Tierney whether his office had thought the allegations against Heuermann would stretch as far back as 1993.
“In the beginning, we knew that this was going to be a sprawling, significant case,” Tierney said.

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The prosecution of Rex Heuermann, who is accused of killing six women over a period of decades, may hinge on a deleted document that investigators found on a laptop, Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney told ABC News on Friday.

According to Tierney, that document—which the investigators referred to as a “planning document”—was found among a massive pile of electronic devices and files that were retrieved throughout the course of the investigation. The district attorney stated that it had been erased by a user when it was discovered on March 7, 2024, on an unallocated space on a laptop.

Heuermann allegedly used it to “methodically blueprint and plan out his kills with excruciating detail,” according to the prosecution. “.

In an interview that partially aired on “Good Morning America,” Tierney said to ABC News, “I think it, first and foremost, evinces a certain intent, and that intent is to hunt and capture and kill females.”. “.”.

Because the document “establishes intent, and certainly that’s our allegation — and that’s what we seek to prove,” Tierney said his office was “excited” about it.

A plethora of tech items recovered during the investigation led the case investigators to discover the document. As of right now, they have managed to retrieve 58 internal hard drives, 22 external drives, and 27 PCs. They have gathered fifteen different kinds of cameras. Additionally, there are numerous SIM cards, USB devices, and memory cards. Researchers also logged hundreds of VHS and CD cassettes.

That record was found nearly a year after Heuermann, an architect from Long Island who has entered a not guilty plea to all charges against him, was first charged in July 2023.

According to court records, Heuermann was charged on Thursday with the 1993 murder of Sandra Costilla, whose remains were discovered in North Sea, Long Island, in 1993, and the 2003 murder of Jessica Taylor, whose remains were discovered on Long Island at Gilgo Beach and in Manorville.

In the Gilgo Beach case, these developments add a full decade to the timeline.

Court documents state that Heuermann is accused of acting alone in the charges brought against him. Using digital calendars and notes from some of the devices they’ve gathered, prosecutors claim in charging documents to have pieced together a timeline of the murders. Investigators claim that Heuermann’s estranged wife, Asa Ellerup, and their kids were not at their Massapequa Park residence when the crimes were being committed.

Tierney told ABC News, “With regard to the family, it’s very clear that during the commission of the six crimes… they were either outside of the state or outside of the country.”.

When it comes to the “tremendous” amount of evidence in the Heuermann case, investigators have essentially spent months “going back in time,” according to Tierney.

In addition, he said, they have been dealing with open investigations and cold-case killings during that time. Over time, a number of additional bodies were found on Gilgo Beach, close to the brambles that had previously revealed the remains of four alleged victims of Heuermann.

Tierney stated on “GMA” this past Friday, “We’re going to keep looking at the cases.”. There have been two more charges brought against us because there are more bodies both on and off Gilgo Beach. Our work will not stop. “.

Tierney was questioned by ABC News about whether his office had anticipated that Heuermann’s charges would go all the way back to 1993.

Tierney stated, “We knew from the start that this was going to be a significant, sprawling case.”. We truly didn’t have any preconceived notions. Perhaps this would be a better question to ask: Am I surprised? No. “.

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