The wife of accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann has filed for divorce just six days after New York police arrested him on suspicion of murdering at least three women and dumping their bodies across Long Island.
Online court records show that Asa Ellerup, the accused serial killer’s wife of two decades and mother of his children, filed a matrimonial suit in Suffolk County Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The presentation – titled Asa Ellerup vs. Rex Heuermann – establishes that the divorce is “uncontested”.
The case records include a complaint, a summons and a “notice regarding continued health care coverage,” all filed Wednesday, though the contents have not been made public.
Ms Ellerup is said to have been “shocked” and “disgusted” when she learned her husband had been arrested and charged with three of the series of unsolved murders that have dogged Long Island for more than a decade. He is also the prime suspect in a fourth murder.
Shocking court documents, released by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office last week, revealed that her hair had been found on the bodies of three of the four victims, but that she was out of town on each of the times her husband allegedly struck.
Ms Ellerup’s lawyer, Bob Macedonio, told Fox News Digital outside the Suffolk County jail that she had filed for divorce after her life was “turned upside down” by her husband’s alleged actions.
“This whole thing is still a whirlwind,” he said.
“Her life and that of her children have completely changed.”
Mr. Heuermann has an adult daughter and stepson with Mrs. Ellerup. His daughter worked with him in his father’s architecture business in Manhattan.
Macedonio said police conducted a coordinated raid on the family’s Massapeua Park home Thursday night at the same time they arrested Heuermann as he was leaving his office in Midtown Manhattan.
He was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Costello.
He is also the prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who along with the three is known as the “Gilgo Beach Four” and was last seen alive in early June 2007 in New York City.
The four women were found less than a quarter mile from each other, bound with belts or duct tape and some wrapped in burlap.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared in court on July 14 and was ordered held without bail.
Ms Ellerup and her two adult children were informed of the allegations against them and had their passports, computers, phones and iPads confiscated when police raided their home, her lawyer said.
“They were at home and the police came in, and they were completely shocked, and they told them what was happening,” he said.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison revealed Monday that Mr. Heuermann’s arrest seemed to catch his loved ones completely off guard.
“When we initially told them about her husband, her father, they were shocked,” he said.
“They were disgusted, they were embarrassed.”
Court documents, filed as part of prosecutors’ request that bail be denied, revealed that hair belonging to Mr. Heuermann’s wife was allegedly found on the bodies of three of the four victims.
Prosecutors say two female hairs were found on Waterman, one of them on the headband the killer wrapped around his head. One female hair was found in the ribbon used to wrap Costello in burlap and one hair was found in a belt buckle used to tie up Brainard-Barnes, whom Mr. Heuermann has yet to be charged with.
To identify the woman to whom the hair belonged, investigators searched the trash at Heuermann’s Long Island home.
In July 2022, they recovered 11 bottles from the trash and took DNA samples from them.
Forensic tests found that the DNA on the bottles matched female hair found at the crime scene, concluding that the hair belonged to Mr. Heuermann’s wife.
The precision is such that more than 99 percent of the female population of North America can be ruled out, according to court documents.
Prosecutors discovered that the suspect’s wife was out of town at the time of the three murders for which he has been charged, but that her hair may have transferred to the crime scene through her husband’s clothing or through him using items such as duct tape taken from the family home.
She has not been named a suspect and there is no indication that she was involved in, or knew of, the murders.
In addition to his wife’s DNA, Mr. Heuermann’s DNA was also found on one of the victims, tied to him via a discarded pizza crust.
Heuermann was also linked to the murders through a pimp’s tip on his van, a stash of disposable phones, “sadistic” online searches and phone calls taunting the victims’ families.
Investigators continue to search the family’s home for evidence, including body parts and trophies taken from the victims, as well as storage units connected to it two miles away in Amityville. So far, a hoard of around 200 weapons has been seized, as well as his truck.
In South Carolina, police seized the van at the center of the murder investigation at his brother’s home this week.
Mr. Heuermann owns property in Chester with his brother Craig.
The Chester County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that “the Gilgo Beach Task Force requested that you help collect evidence in Chester County relevant to their investigation,” as law enforcement agencies are now also investigating unsolved murders and missing person cases across the United States.
A spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said the independent on Tuesday that they are reviewing unsolved murders and missing persons cases in Sin City after learning the suspect owns a timeshare property in the area.
“We are aware of Rex Heuermann’s connection to Las Vegas. We are currently reviewing our cold cases to see if he has any involvement,” the department said.
The gruesome case of the serial killer has gripped the nation’s attention for more than a decade.
The Gilgo Beach murders had long baffled law enforcement officials in Suffolk County, who believed it could be the work of one or more serial killers who attacked the sex workers and dumped their bodies on the along the remote beaches of Ocean Parkway.
The case began in May 2010 when Shannan Gilbert disappeared after walking from a client’s home near Gilgo Beach.
She called 911 for help saying she feared for her life and was never seen alive again.
During a search for Gilbert in a dense thicket near the beach, police discovered the remains of another woman.
Within days, the remains of three other victims were found nearby.
By spring 2011, the remains of a total of 10 victims had been found, including eight women, one man, and a young child. Police have long thought that it could be the work of one or more serial killers.
Gilbert’s body was then found in December 2011. Her cause of death is widely disputed, and authorities have long claimed that she is not related to the serial killer or killers, but rather accidentally drowned while fleeing the client’s home.
However, an independent autopsy commissioned by her family ruled that she died of strangulation and her mother believes she was murdered.
Like Gilbert, most of the victims targeted were sex workers, while some have yet to be identified.