The wife of Rex Heuermann made her first appearance at one of her husband's court hearings as she vowed to hear for herself what evidence investigators say proves he is the notorious Gilgo Beach serial killer.
Asa Ellerup, who has two grown children with the accused killer, arrived at Suffolk County Criminal Court around 9 a.m. Wednesday, flanked by her attorney Robert Macedonio.
Dressed in a teal blouse and white sweater, she made no comment to members of the media who had gathered to cover the high-profile case.
Mr. Macedonio told local network PIX11 that Ms. Ellerup planned to attend the hearing — and her husband's entire upcoming trial — to hear for herself the horrific crimes she allegedly spent more than two decades of living through. her. commit.
The 59-year-old does not want to watch, read or hear the evidence presented in the courtroom indirectly by other complainants, her lawyer said.
In the brief hearing, Mr Heuermann's legal team asked prosecutors to hand over all investigative memos 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 photographs during the week-long search of the Massapequa Park home Mr Heuermann shared with his wife and their two adult children until his arrest.
It emerged this week that the accused killer signed over full ownership of the property to his wife after his arrest – while reports also revealed Ms Ellerup is working with a streaming service on some sort of TV appearance.
Mr. Heuermann grew up on the property and bought it from his parents two decades ago.
Suffolk County officials said they now fear some of the victims could have been killed inside the home.
It has been four months since Mr. Heuermann was arrested and charged with three of the murders that rocked the Long Island community of Gilgo Beach for more than a decade.
Ms Ellerup and the couple's grown-up children Victoria Heuermann, 26, and Christopher Sheridan, 33, are said to have been blindsided by his arrest.
Court documents laying out the case against the 60-year-old Manhattan architect say his family members were out of town at the time of the murders.
Vess Mitev, a lawyer representing the adult children, previously saidThe independent that the family was just trying to survive after being the center of national attention for their family member's alleged crimes.
“The Heuermann children lived in a constant, surreal, waking nightmare,” he said.
“Just because the news coverage isn't going on or it's not in the news on a daily basis every 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.
“It's a situation you wouldn't wish on anyone. It's not reality.”
He added: “Their focus was simply on managing their basic daily needs. We have specific, fundamental needs that we need to survive as humans and that was really their primary goal as their resources have been completely depleted or no longer available to them.
“Their basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and a safe place to sleep have been almost eliminated. They're trying to put these very basic yet so vital things back together that most of us take for granted.”
Mrs Ellerup filed for divorce just six days after her husband's arrest.
After several months, her lawyer revealed last week that she visited Mr. Heuermann for the first time at the Suffolk County Jail in Yaphank.
Mr Heuermann is currently accused of murdering three women Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Costello.
He was also named the prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes – who was last seen alive in early June 2007 in New York.
The four women, 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 1/4 mile of each other, bound with belts or tape and some wrapped in burlap – all dumped along Gilgo Beach.
In all, 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 in May 2010 when Shannan Gilbert, a young woman working as a sex worker, disappeared after leaving a client's home 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 thickets near the beach, police discovered human remains. Within a few days, four victims were found.
By spring 2011, the number of victims rose to 10.
Gilbert's body was subsequently found in December 2011. The cause of her death is widely disputed with authorities long arguing that she was not connected to the serial killer or killers, but that she died of accidental drowning while leaving home the customer's.
However, an independent autopsy conducted by her family ruled that she died of strangulation, and her family continues to believe she was murdered.
No charges have been filed in connection with the other victims also found along the coast.
Court records show Mr. Heuermann was linked to the “Gilgo Four” murders through a tip about his truck, a phone burner dump, “sadistic” Internet searches and phone calls taunting the 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 was linked to, according to prosecutors.
Investigators are still working to determine whether Mr. Heuermann is also connected to any of the other victims — while law enforcement officials across the country are probing cold-case murders for possible links.