Upon his arrest, 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. He pleaded not guilty to all counts at an arraignment on July 14, per his defense attorney Michael J. Brown.
“There is nothing about Mr. Heuermann that would suggest that he is involved in these incidents,” Brown said in a July 14 statement to E! News. “And while the government has decided to focus on him despite more significant and stronger leads, we are looking forward to defending him in a court of law before a fair and impartial jury of his peers.”
According to NBC News, he is also suspected in the disappearance and death of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, whose remains were also found near Gilgo Beach.
The women were among the remains of 11 people who were discovered after the 2010 disappearance of Shannan Gilbert kickstarted an investigation. (Her remains were found by police on Oak Beach in December 2011.)
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison previously described Heuermann as “a demon that walks amongst us, a predator that ruined families.”
“However, even with this arrest, we’re not done,” Harrison said during a July 14 press conference. “There’s more work to do in the investigation in regards to the other victims of the Gilgo Beach bodies that were discovered.”
(E! and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)