Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (2024)

Rex Heuermann, the alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer, is now charged with two additional murders for the deaths of Sandra Costilla and Jessica Taylor, according to court records obtained by Newsweek.

The charges mark now the fifth and sixth victims connected to Heuermann. District Attorney Raymond Tierney is asking for Heuermann's incarceration to remain without bail.

Heuermann showed little emotion Thursday morning in a Suffolk County courtroom when his charges were read.

The 60-year-old was first arrested in July 2023 for the deaths of four women whose remains were found in burlap sacks along the Ocean Parkway in New York over a decade ago.

Heuermann already faces charges in connection to the murders of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, Amber Lynn Costello and Maureen Brainard-Barnes—also known as "The Gilgo Four."

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (1)

The announcement of more potential victims comes weeks after authorities returned to Heuermann's Long Island home. At least half a dozen law enforcement agents were spotted in Heuermann's driveway on May 20. Cars, including state trooper vans, lined the street along the Massapequa Park neighborhood.

Robert Macedonio, who represents Heuermann's estranged wife, told Newsday the inspection seemed to focus on the basem*nt of the Long Island house.

The next court date for this case will be July 30.

Who is Sandra Costilla?

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (2)

Two hunters discovered 28-year-old Costilla's body in a wooded area in North Sea, Southampton, on Nov. 21, 1993.

She had been strangled to death and left partially clothed. Her remains were in the woods for several days prior to being discovered.

Authorities identified Costilla by using her fingerprints, which had been entered into the system after she was arrested for jumping over a subway turnstile in 1992.

Costilla was from Trinidad and Tobago but had been living in New York prior to her disappearance, according to court records obtained by Newsweek.

Police called Costilla a "drifter." Her last known address was in Queens, but it is thought she wasn't living there at the time of her death. Police never said if Costilla was a sex worker but called her lifestyle "substantially similar."

New digital evidence revealed Heuermann had a "significant collection of violent, bondage, and torture p*rnography" dating back to 1994, according to court records obtained by Newsweek. The images include breast mutilation, vagin*l torture, the sexualization of decapitated women and bondage. These "notably and largely coincide with how the remains" of Costilla and Taylor were discovered.

A hard drive recovered from Heuermann's basem*nt hosted a Microsoft Word document called "HK2002-04," which seems to be Heuermann's "planning document," according to court documents. The document was separated into four sections: "problems," "supplies," "DS," and "TRG."

"Problems" seems to be a guide to avoid apprehension, according to court documents. It includes points like DNA, tire marks, blood stains, fingerprints, witness, photos, police stop and plastic bags matched to box.

"Supplies" appear to be the items "needed to carry out the serial murders," according to the court documents. That section includes bullet points of booties, acid, rope/cord, saw/cutting tools, burn can, tarps and bags/tape.

"DS" has been deciphered to mean "dump site," according to the court documents. The discovery of Jessica Taylor and another potential Gilgo Beach victim, Valerie Mack, were at two separate "dump sites."

"TRG" appears to refer to target or victim, according to the court document.

Then the HK Planning Document delves into a three-category section: "pre-prep," "prep" and "post event." They seem to be guides, with the "pre-prep" including issues like getting Heuermann's vehicle inspected, engaging the target and conducting "recon." "Prep," on the other hand, includes "staging area" and use of "table, cross bar, hard point." For "post event," Heuermann listed he had to "distroy (sic) file, change tires, burn gloves, dispose of pics and have story set."

Heuermann also listed how to prep a body and what items would need to be disposed of.

In a "things to remember" section, Heuermann seems to have written notes to consider "next time," such as travel sounds, and if he was "too tired" it would create problems.

In the past, convicted murderer John Bittrolff had been tied to Costilla's death. Bittrolff was never charged, however.

Three hairs were recovered on Costilla's body. With the DNA, the forensic lab was able to exclude Bittrolff as a suspect.

Who was Jessica Taylor?

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (3)

Taylor, 20, was a sex worker near the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.

Taylor's remains were found in July 2003 in the wooded area of Manorville, where Heuermann's Massapequa Park home is located. A woman walking her dog found Taylor's nude body just off of Halsey Manor Road and the Long Island Expressway.

During the examination of Taylor's body, male human hairs were found, "specifically from a surgical drape that had been underneath the victim," according to court records obtained by Newsweek. They were determined to be from the head of a person with "Caucasian/European characteristics." The hairs were unsuitable for further DNA testing."

In March 2011, more of Taylor's remains, including her skull, hands and forearm, were found on Gilgo Beach.

At the time of Taylor's disappearance, Heuermann worked in the same vicinity as where Taylor was known to "street walk," or work as a sex worker, according to court records obtained by Newsweek.

"Records seized during the execution of prior search warrants reveal Heuermann was in fact present in midtown Manhattan on July 21, 2003 the same date Ms. Taylor disappeared," the document reads.

When police were investigating the area in the days following Taylor's disappearance, investigators spoke to a witness who had seen a "dark-colored Chevrolet pickup truck backed in to the same wooded area where Ms. Taylor's body was later found," according to court records.

Heuermann purchased a 2002 dark-colored Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck in March 2002. While the make and model of Heuermann's vehicle is the same as his 2002 vehicle, the exterior color is different.

In the days after Taylor's disappearance, Heuermann searched a Newsday article called "Cops Seek Help in IDing Manorville Body," which was about the discovery of Taylor's remains. That online activity was subsequently deleted, according to the bail application.

On July 29, 2003 Heuermann searched online for a new Chevrolet Avalanche. The forensic analysis also showed he attempted to delete this query.

The Gilgo Homicide Task Force has established that Heuermann's wife and children were out of state at the time of Taylor's disappearance.

Who was Maureen Brainard-Barnes?

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (4)

Brainard-Barnes is believed to be the first victim among the "Gilgo Four." The 25-year-old was living in Norwich, Connecticut when she went missing. It is believed that she took an Amtrak train from New London to New York City on July 6, 2007.

She spent her time in the city working as a prostitute, as advertised on Craigslist, Backpage and other sites.

The weekend she went missing, Brainard-Barnes traveled with another woman to the city. The other woman, however, went back home early.

On July 9 Brainard-Barnes called a friend in Connecticut minutes before midnight. She said she was going to meet someone outside of the motel. Suffolk Police Department said that was not her typical operating procedure.

A friend reported Brainard-Barnes missing five days later.

Her body was found on the north side of Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach on Dec. 13, 2010.

Who was Melissa Barthelemy?

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (5)

Barthelemy, 24, went missing on July 12, 2009. She was last seen at her basem*nt apartment on Underhill Avenue in the Unionport section of the Bronx.

The escort advertised on Adult Friend Finder and other sites, according to the police. She would meet clients at bars, restaurants and hotels on Manhattan's West Side.

Barthelemy told a friend the night she went missing that she was going to meet a man and would be back in the morning. The friend did not know any other details about the meet up beyond that Barthelemy was a sex worker.

Barthelemy's mother reported her missing to the New York Police Department on July 18 after not being able to reach her for a few days.

Cellphone records show Barthelemy went from the Bronx to Manhattan on July 12. Her cellphone signal was picked up in Long Island as well.

Suffolk County Police Department said Barthelemy's sister got a series of taunting phone calls. They were believed to come from her killer.

Barthelemy's body was found on Dec. 11, 2010. She was the first victim the police physically found.

Who was Megan Waterman?

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (6)

Waterman was a sex worker and resident of Scarborough, Maine. Her family watched the 22-year-old board a New York-bound bus with a man who may have been her pimp.

An investigation found Waterman was staying at a Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge on June 6, 2010. She left around 1:30 a.m. to meet a client, according to the police. However, she told her pimp that she was going to a convenience store.

Two days later, Waterman's family reported her missing to police in Maine. They said it was unlike her to not check-in on her then-3-year-old daughter.

Who was Amber Lynn Costello?

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (7)

Costello is the oldest of the "Gilgo Four" victims. She was 27 when she went missing in September of 2010.

She was a heroin addict at the time and was living with another woman and two men, who were similarly addicted to drugs.

Costello moved to New York from Clearwater, Florida. Police said she completed a 28-day drug rehabilitation program but had relapsed prior to going missing.

They lived on Long Island. In order to support their addictions, Costello and the other woman advertised as sex workers on Craigslist and Backpage, according to police.

Costello was last seen leaving the home she shared on America Avenue on Sept. 2, 2010. She was going to meet a client, who was picking her up at the house. Costello didn't have a cellphone on her at the time.

She was never reported missing.

The search for a serial killer unfolds

The hunt for a possible serial killer started in 2010 when 11 sets of human remains were discovered along a property on Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County. Law enforcement first started searching along Ocean Parkway after Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker from New Jersey, vanished in 2010.

The search first turned up the remains of Barthelemy, Waterman, Lynn Costello and Brainard-Barnes. All the women were in their mid-20s.

Police found other remains during the search, including those that belonged to Jessica Taylor and Valerie Mack, who were also in their 20s when they had gone missing years earlier.

Other remains discovered included those of a female toddler, an Asian male, an unidentified woman who was believed to be the toddler's mother and another woman identified as 34-year-old Karen Vergata who went missing in 1996.

Gilbert was found in late 2011, after the other 10 victims were found.

The case has long mystified police, and it captured the public's attention when Netflix released a film in 2020 called Lost Girls that was based on the murders.

Detectives finally nabbed Heuermann in 2023 after he tossed a pizza box with leftover crust into a Manhattan trash can. The DNA from the crust matched genetic material found on the women's remains.

"We're not going to stop," Tierney said about the search during a June 6, 2024 press conference. "We owe that to the victims."

How does Shannon Gilbert play into all of this?

Shannon Gilbert's death is riddled with mystery. Her family is convinced it was homicide.

Gilbert, 24, disappeared in Oak Beach, a quiet gated community off of the Ocean Parkway, on May 1, 2010. The 23-year-old sex worker was meeting with a client, Joseph Brewer.

Law enforcement first started searching along Ocean Parkway after Gilbert vanished in 2010. The hunt for a possible serial killer commenced when 11 sets of human remains were discovered along a property on Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County.

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (8)

Suffolk County detectives said for a while that Gilbert was not one of Heuermann's victims. Suffolk County Police Department said Gilbert's death was not a murder and was "most likely an accident."

Her sister, Sherre intensely disagreed for years, pointing to 911 calls.

Three phone calls to 911, including one that was more than 21-minutes long by Gilbert, took place the night Gilbert went missing. She initially called from inside Brewer's home shortly before 5 a.m.

"There is somebody after me," she tells the dispatcher multiple times. "Somebody's after me — please," Gilbert said.

Gilbert couldn't specify where she was but said she was located on Long Island. Brewer and Michael Pak, Gilbert's driver and security, are heard telling her to go outside.

After 22 minutes and 42 seconds, the call cuts out.

A neighbor had also called 911 saying a young girl was "running around screaming."

Investigators believe Gilbert got disoriented in marsh reeds while running in the dark. Much of the marshland is impassable. Some of Gilbert's belongings were found along a path.

A private pathologist hired by the Gilbert family found insufficient evidence to confirm a cause of death. Renowned forensic pathologist Michael Baden, however, said Gilbert had suffered injuries "consistent with homicidal strangulation."

A taxi driver said in a sworn statement previously that she believes she saw Gilbert and Heuermann at the Sayville Motor Lodge. Gilbert allegedly told the cab driver that she met Heuermann on Craigslist and was promised financial assistance.

Who is Rex Heuermann?

Heuermann graduated from the same local high school as actor Billy Baldwin who tweeted after the news broke about his 1981 classmate's arrest, describing it as "mind-boggling."

After getting a bachelor's degree from the New York Institute of Technology, Heuermann started his architecture firm RH Consultants in 1994. He did most of his architectural work in New York City, according to a company biography and the firm's website.

Police have found Heuermann owned a book of other serial killers, authored by John Douglas, according to court records obtained by Newsweek.

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (9)

Heuermann is currently being held at the Riverhead Correctional Facility in Suffolk County, about 50 miles from his home.

Suffolk County Sheriff Dr. Errol Toulon Jr. said Heuermann busies himself with reading books, reading his discovery, watching TV and sleeping, according to an Oxygen article.

He has been separated from other inmates "for his safety," according to the article. Toulon called him "very compliant."

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

");jQuery(this).remove()})jQuery('.start-slider').owlCarousel({loop:!1,margin:10,nav:!0,items:1}).on('changed.owl.carousel',function(event){var currentItem=event.item.index;var totalItems=event.item.count;if(currentItem===0){jQuery('.owl-prev').addClass('disabled')}else{jQuery('.owl-prev').removeClass('disabled')}if(currentItem===totalItems-1){jQuery('.owl-next').addClass('disabled')}else{jQuery('.owl-next').removeClass('disabled')}})}})})

Who Are Sandra Costilla And Jessica Taylor? Gilgo Beach victims revealed (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg Kuvalis

Last Updated:

Views: 5815

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg Kuvalis

Birthday: 1996-12-20

Address: 53157 Trantow Inlet, Townemouth, FL 92564-0267

Phone: +68218650356656

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Knitting, Amateur radio, Skiing, Running, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Greg Kuvalis, I am a witty, spotless, beautiful, charming, delightful, thankful, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.