The family of a Manhattan architect charged in the Gilgo Beach serial killings is "enduring a profound and indescribable catastrophe," an attorney for his estranged wife said as she begged for privacy and "normalcy."
Macedonio & Duncan, the law firm representing Asa Ellerup in her divorce from Rex Heuermann, issued the statement in a news release on Friday. It also included a direct statement from Ellerup.
"On behalf of my family and especially my elderly neighbors, who have also had their lives turned upside down by the enormous police presence, in addition to the spectators, and news crews. They deserve to live peacefully; they should be able to walk their dogs and go to the grocery stores without cameras shoved in their faces," she said. "I am pleading with you all to give us space so that we may regain some normalcy in our neighborhood."
Ellerup filed for divorce on July 19, days after Heuermann was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, 24; Megan Waterman, 22; and Amber Lynn Costello 27.
The women were believed to be sex workers who advertised online, according to police. Their remains were discovered in December 2010 in Gilgo Beach on Long Island’s South Shore.
More Gilgo Beach coverage
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- Wife of suspect filed for divorce , her lawyer said
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Heuermann, 59, is also suspected in the disappearance and death of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, whose remains were also found near Gilgo Beach. That investigation continues, according to a bail application.
Ellerup was out of state at the time of the killings and isn’t considered a suspect, authorities have said.
The remains of the four women, known as the “Gilgo Four,” were discovered during the search for missing Shannan Gilbert, 23, who was reportedly last seen running through the gated community of Oak Beach after leaving a client’s home, according to a police case timeline.
Heuermann pleaded not guilty and has denied involvement in the killings. Michael J. Brown, an attorney for Heuermann, told reporters that the allegations are “extremely circumstantial in nature.”
“The only thing he did say, as he was in tears, was ‘I didn’t do this,’” Brown said. “He’s distraught. He’s clearly distraught about the charges here.”