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Police investigate possible link between Gilgo Beach suspect and South Carolina woman who vanished in 2017

A tipster told the Sumter County Sheriff's Office that Julia Ann Bean, who was last seen in May 2017, might have had a connection with Gilgo Beach suspect Rex Heuermann.
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Authorities are investigating if there’s a connection between the Gilgo Beach suspect Rex Heuermann and the disappearance of a South Carolina woman in 2017. 

Julia Ann Bean was last seen in Sumter County, South Carolina, on May, 31 2017, and her daughter reported her missing Nov. 18 that year, the Sumter County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Julia Ann Bean.
Julia Ann Bean. Sumter County Sheriff's Office

On Sunday, a person claiming to be a friend of Bean reached out to the sheriff's office and told investigators that there may have been a connection between Bean and Heuermann. 

The Gilgo Beach murders were a series of slayings that spooked Long Island, New York, for years. Eleven sets of human remains have been found in or near Ocean Parkway in Long Island, since 2010.

Heuermann, a New York City architect, was arrested in July in connection with the slayings of three of those women whose remains were found near Gilgo Beach, and he is considered the prime suspect in the disappearance of a fourth woman — a group dubbed the "Gilgo Four." The victims were all believed to have been sex workers who advertised on online sites, according to police.

Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Sumter County officials said that the tipster did not reside in the county and provided third-hand information. 

Still, a team investigating Bean’s disappearance met to review the information and shared it with the FBI, as well.

“Sumter County Sheriff’s Office investigators have been pouring over the information they have recently received to determine if there is any evidence linking Bean with Heuermann. Yet there are no confirmed facts that confirm or deny the possibility of a connection,” the release said. 

Investigators also spoke with Bean’s daughter Cameron who has been “cooperative and eager to help,” and believes that “someone she saw with her mother could possibly be Heuermann.”  

Heuermann lived with his wife and children in Massapequa Park, Long Island, a half-hour drive to Gilgo Beach. However, he had two out-of-town addresses: one in South Carolina and a timeshare in Las Vegas, officials previously said.

Shortly after his arrest, a property in Chester, South Carolina, that belonged to one of his family members was searched and Heuermann’s truck was taken into evidence. 

The sheriff's office said that investigators are interviewing individuals and looking into reports that Bean may have been seen with Heuermann and the work is ongoing.

"Her case will remain open until she is found," it said.