Asa Ellerup was surrounded by court officers and her lawyer as she walked into the courtroom to hear the evidence against her estranged husband and suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer, Rex Heuermann.
She was stoic and did not speak to anyone on her way inside the state courthouse in Suffolk County, New York, for Heuermann’s court appearance on Wednesday.
She remained mostly emotionless as the hulking murder suspect was brought into the courtroom, except for a slight smile as he turned to her.
“I don’t know if he actually saw her, but he’s appreciative that she’s here,” Heuermann’s lawyer, Michael Brown, said after the court appearance. “And listen, they were married for so many years, and they raised a family together. And my understanding is, is that she doesn’t believe that he was capable or committed these acts.”
Ellerup, 59, emerged from a Mercedes sedan with a cameraman in tow.
Her lawyer, Bob Macedonio, said last week in front of their family home in Massapequa Park that she “wants to see and hear the evidence that’s presented in court.
“The only thing she knows about this case is what’s been reported in the media,” he said, according to The Daily Mail. “If this happened, he was living a complete double life.”
Despite Heuermann’s lawyer’s comments outside the eastern Long Island courthouse, Ellerup filed for divorce less than a week after Heuermann’s arrest in July.
She reportedly visited Heuermann in jail for the first time last week and spent about an hour with him, her lawyer told news outlets.
“You have to remember that Rex is in a section of the jail that’s really isolation,” Brown said in response to a question about Ellerup visiting Heuermann in jail.
“So other than the correctional officers and myself, he hasn’t really had any interaction with anybody. So the fact that his wife, his family member, was able to see him, and they talked, that was important to him.”
Heuermann allegedly killed three of the “Gilgo Beach 4” victims: Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Costello, 27, and remains the prime suspect in the death of the fourth victim – 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes.
All their remains were found on Gilgo Beach along Long Island’s South Shore, which is about 15 miles from his home.
Heuermann was charged with six counts of murder (first- and second-degree murder for each victim) and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Brown said his team is waiting for the investigative notes that detail law enforcement’s actions leading up to his client’s arrest.
“As many of you know, there were so many suspects over the years that they focused on,” Brown told reporters after Wednesday’s court appearance. “And we want to know why they discounted those individual suspects. That’s going to be important to our case.”
Heuermann is due back in court on Feb. 6.
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Police found Heuermann’s alleged victims in December 2010 while they searched for a missing escort, Shannan Gilbert.
By April 2011, they found the remains of at least six more victims in the area, which created one of New York’s most infamous cold cases.
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney, who is personally prosecuting the case, established the Gilgo Beach Task Force when he took office in 2022.
The task force quickly identified Heuermann, a Manhattan architect, as the suspect using evidence collected in the early days of the investigation, trailed him for about a year and finally slapped the cuffs on him on July 13.
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Heuermann allegedly lived a double life. By day, he was a successful businessman, devoted husband and father to two children.
By night, he was allegedly a predator who terrorized sex workers and their families for his gratification.
He allegedly attacked the sex workers while his wife was out of town, according to prosecutors.
There were at least six other victims’ remains found in varying stages of decomposition in the area of Gilgo Beach, along Long Island’s south shore, between December 2010 and April 2011.
Heuermann has not been connected to any of the other victims to date, which has fueled theories of a second serial killer – dubbed the “Manorville Butcher” – hunting on Long Island at the same time.
Fox News’ Jennifer Johnson contributed to this report.