Asa Ellerup – the wife of Rex Heuermann – is filing for divorce after nearly 27 years of marriage. The divorce papers were filed on Wednesday (July 19), just one week after her husband was arrested as the primary suspect in the killing of three (potentially four) women more than a decade ago near Gilgo Beach.
Her attorney, Robert Macedonio, filed a summons and a complaint in Suffolk County Supreme Court on Ellerup’s behalf, but declined to comment any further as the investigation into Heuermann’s ‘double life’ continues. For now, she’s doing the one thing she knows she can do – end her marriage to Heuermann.
According to Suffolk County police commissioner Rodney Harrison, authorities are under the impression that Asa Ellerup was unaware of her husband’s double life and are counting her out as a suspect (at least for now) because she was out of town when the murders happened. Of course, things could change.
“If you ask me, I don’t believe, that they knew about this double life that Mr. Heuermann was living,” Harrison said in an interview with CNN’s Erica Hill on Monday (July 17) – though investigators are still collecting information ‘to see if the family might have known exactly what Mr. Heuermann was up to.’
While they don’t believe she had anything to do with the murders, she did – unbeknownst to her – play an integral role in his arrest on July 13. At the crime scene where the bodies were found, investigators found strands of Ellerup’s hair – which were presumably carried to the crime scene by way of Rex’s clothing.
Authorities have had the DNA for quite some time, but DNA testing wasn’t advanced enough to provide answers – that is, until recently. Once Rex Heuermann was identified as a suspect in early 2022, they matched the DNA to DNA found on items near the family’s home. That’s when things started to add up.
Since Asa and her daughter were out of town when the murders occurred, investigators turned to her husband. As the investigation continued, his hair was found on a burlap sack that contained human remains. Rex is now facing three counts of first-degree and three counts of second-degree murder.
Family of Gilgo Beach Suspect ‘Shocked’ and ‘Disgusted’
According to police commissioner Rodney Harrison, authorities described Asa Ellerup and her daughter as ‘shocked,’ ‘disgusted,’ and ‘embarrassed’ when they found out their husband/father was the primary suspect in the Giligo Beach murders. Their attorneys described this as a ‘devastating time’ for the family.
“The sensitive nature of her husband’s arrest is taking an emotional toll on the immediate and extended family, especially their elderly family members,” their attorneys wrote in a statement. “Ms. Ellerup does not wish to comment further and has requested the public and press to please respect the family’s privacy.”
As for Rex Heuermann, he was remanded without bail – which means he’ll be spending the next few weeks at the Suffolk County correctional facility. His next hearing is August 1, but he has already entered a not guilty plea and is denying any involvement in the three Gilgo Beach murders. It appears he’s going to fight this.
In addition to being charged with three murders, he’s also the primary suspect in a fourth murder. The four victims have been identified as Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, Amber Lynn Costello, 27, and Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25 – their bodies were found roughly 500 feet from one another.
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