Judge grants motion by prosecutors for DNA cheek swab from Gilgo Beach suspect Rex Heuermann

To support the decision, the judge cited a mountain of evidence recovered in the case, including DNA, phone records, cell site information, Heuermann’s phone bills, his internet searches and financial records.

Rachel Yonkunas

Aug 9, 2023, 5:01 PM

Updated 255 days ago

Share:

A state Supreme Court Justice has ordered Rex Heuermann to provide a cheek swab to Suffolk County prosecutors for DNA analysis. The evidence will help build a complete DNA profile of the suspected Gilgo Beach killer.
“The Court finds that contrary to the defendant’s contentions, there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the crimes charged and, therefore, a basis to compel the buccal swab,” ruled Judge Timothy Mazzei, according to court papers first obtained by Team 12 Investigates.
To support the decision, the judge cited a mountain of evidence recovered in the case, including DNA, phone records, cell site information, Heuermann’s phone bills, his internet searches and financial records.
Heuermann’s 2002 green Chevrolet Avalanche also matches the description of a car that was used to pick up Gilgo Beach victim Amber Costello “immediately prior to her disappearance,” Judge Mazzei wrote.
A key break in the case came when Heuermann’s DNA from a thrown-out pizza crust and napkin matched with hair found on one of the victim’s bodies.
A DNA sample taken directly from Heuermann’s mouth is needed, prosecutors argued, because forensic biologists at the Suffolk County Crime Lab are limited in how they can testify at trial regarding Heuermann’s DNA profile.
Forensic biologists would only be able to reference the pizza crusts and napkin as believed to be “used or touched” by Heuermann and would not be allowed to say it is his DNA profile, according to criminal court documents.
If Heuermann’s DNA from the cheek swab matches the other samples, prosecutors said they would have “scientific evidence” of his contact not only with one of the victims, but also with the burlap used to restrain and transport the victim’s remains.
The Massapequa Park architect must provide a cheek swab on Aug. 15 at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. It will be taken by a detective from Suffolk County Police, a member of the Suffolk Crime Lab or a detective investigator from the DA’s Office. The sample will be provided to the Suffolk Crime Lab for analysis.


More from News 12