The wife of Rex Heuermann, the man accused of killing at least three women and burying their bodies on a beach next to a remote coastal road, could sue police for leaving her home in a “mess” in their search for evidence.
Asa Ellerup lives in a “surreal nightmare awake,” her lawyer said Friday.
She’s also struggling to afford cancer treatment while living in a house she claims was vandalized by investigators looking for possible evidence of her husband’s alleged crimes.
At a press conference on Long Island, lawyers for Ms. Ellerup, Mr. Heuermann’s estranged wife, and his two adult children announced that the family planned to follow up on a claim, a move that would allow them to eventually suing the police for “leaving their home”. in ruins”.
“Their valuables were shattered, their homes were destroyed, the place where they laid their heads no longer exists,” said Vess Mitev, a lawyer who also represents Mr. Heuermann’s daughter, Victoria, and stepson, Christopher Sheridan.
“They are going through a horrible emotional time that none of us can imagine,” he added, previously describing their experience as that of a “surreal walking horror show”.
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney has said police followed standard procedure during their 12-day search.
Ms Ellerup is currently trying to find a way to pay for her skin and breast cancer treatment, lawyers said. Her current health insurance, which is linked to her husband’s employment, expires later this year.
She has spoken to her husband by phone, but has not visited him and filed for divorce from Mr. Heuermann last month just a few days after bombshell arrest of the architect in a case that has baffled authorities for more than a decade.
The family raised more than $40,000 through a GoFundMe started by Melissa Moorethe daughter of serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, known as the “Happy Face Killer”.
That crowdfunding campaign has sparked some controversy. John Ray, a lawyer for Shannon Gilbert, a woman found dead in a coastal swamp near Mr Heuermann’s alleged victims, urged the public not to donate to the family, describing them as suspects in the case, rather than as victims.
Suffolk Police have concluded that Gilbert drowned accidentally – a finding her family have not accepted, believing she was also murdered.
Mr Heuermann was charged last month in the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, Amber Costello and Megan Waterman. Their remains were found on Gilgo Beach, off Long Island.
He is the prime suspect in the death of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes.
All four women would have been engaged in sex work prior to their disappearance. Other remains were also found nearby, but no link has been made to Mr Heuermann, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Bob Macedonio, a lawyer for Ms Ellerup, said Mr Heuermann led a “complete double life” while his wife and children are in total darkness about his alleged crimes.
The lawyers said there has been no contact between authorities and any family members.
Mr. Heuermann is due back in court on September 27.
With coverage by the Associated Press