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In the end, it was a pizza crust that led to the suspect’s arrest.

A 59-year-old architect was taken into custody Thursday night in connection with a series of murders on Long Island, according to The Associated Press.

The man, identified as Rex Heuermann, was caught after detectives “recovered his DNA from pizza crust in a box that he discarded in a Manhattan trash can and matched it to a hair found on a restraint used in the killings,” the AP reported.

The New York Post reported that Heuermann has been a person of interest for over a year.

Investigators have worked for more than a decade to solve the killings, dubbed the Gilgo Beach murders after the area where the victims’ remains were discovered.

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The burlap-wrapped bodies of four women were found in 2010. They were identified as Melissa Barthelemy, 24; Megan Waterman, 22; Amber Lynn Costello, 27; and Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25.

“By spring 2011, that number had climbed to 10 sets of human remains,” the AP reported. They included the bodies of eight women, one man and one toddler.

“Investigators have said several times over the years that it is unlikely one person killed all the victims,” the Post reported.

The sensational unsolved murder case was the subject of the 2020 Netflix film “Lost Girls.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul responded to the news of Heuermann’s arrest on Twitter.

“For decades, Long Islanders have lived in fear of the Gilgo Beach killer,” she said. “Today, thanks to the hard work of [the New York State Police] & local law enforcement, a suspect is in custody.

“This is a remarkable day for the victims’ families & all New Yorkers who can sleep a little easier tonight.”

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Heuermann’s neighbors had varying responses to media queries about him.

“He seemed like a regular neighbor,” Barry Auslander, 72, told the New York Post. “I never thought he was anything but a businessman, average guy who had a family and went to work.”

Another neighbor, however, complained that Heuermann’s house “sticks out like a sore thumb” because it is in disrepair.

“It was very creepy,” said Gabriella Libardi, 24, according to Spectrum News NY1. “I wouldn’t send my child there.”

Heuermann’s lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf, the AP reported. Heuermann is being held in jail without bail.

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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.