A serial-murder case that has drawn immense public attention since human remains were found along a Long Island, N.Y., beach highway more than a decade ago has resulted in an arrest, a law enforcement source told the Associated Press. The deaths of 11 people whose remains were found in 2010 and 2011 have long stumped investigators. Most of the victims were young women who had been sex workers. Several of the bodies were found near the town of Gilgo Beach. The killings were the subject of the book "Lost Girls" and a 2020 Netflix film by the same name. Determining who killed them, and why, has vexed a slew of seasoned homicide detectives through several changes in police leadership. Last year, an interagency task force was formed with investigators from the FBI, as well as state and local police departments, aimed at solving the case.
The suspect was taken into custody in Massapequa late Thursday and investigators were at a home connected to the case on Friday, the official said. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity. The suspect’s name was not immediately released, but the New York Post identified him as Rex Heuermann, a New York City architect suspected in four of the killings. “We’re happy to see that they’re finally active, the police, in accomplishing something. Let’s wait and see what it all leads to,” said John Ray, the attorney for the families of two victims, Shannan Gilbert and Jessica Taylor. Gilbert’s disappearance in 2010 triggered the hunt that exposed the larger mystery. A 24-year-old sex worker, she vanished after leaving a client’s house on foot in the seafront community of Oak Beach, disappearing into the marsh. Months later, a police officer and his cadaver dog were looking for her body in the thicket along nearby Ocean Parkway when they happened upon the remains of a different woman. Within days, three other bodies were found, all within a short walk of one another. By spring 2011, that number had climbed to 10 sets of human remains -- those of eight women, one man and one toddler. Some were later linked to dismembered body parts found elsewhere on Long Island, making for a puzzling crime scene that stretched from a park near the New York City limits to a resort community on Fire Island and out to far eastern Long Island.