REX Heuermann’s children are still struggling to adapt to life in the wake of his arrest and have not yet decided whether they’ll visit the accused Gilgo Beach killer in prison, their lawyer says.
Victoria Heuermann, 27, and Christopher Sheridan, 34, are still “living in quicksand” more than seven months on from their father’s arrest for the murders of four women on Long Island, attorney Vess Mitev told The U.S. Sun.
“The quicksand shifts minute but minute […] but they’re two of the toughest people I’ve ever met,” confessed Mitev.
“I mean, you have to have rhinoceros-thick skin to even withstand an iota of the scrutiny they’ve been through.
“Their new normal is never going to be normal, and obviously as more things come out, and new scurrilous and salacious allegations are made against them, obviously it resets the table every day.
“But they’re putting one foot in front of the other and they’re trying to move on with life as best they can, which neither you nor I could ever hope to imagine what that’s like.”
He added, “My hat goes off to these two young adults, who are winning every day they’re able to get out of bed in the morning. So that’s where they are.”
Mitev’s comments came in response to allegations made by fellow Long Island lawyer John Ray, who last week presented evidence at a symposium that he believes warrants authorities taking a closer look at Heuermann’s wife, Asa Ellerup, and their two children.
Investigators have explicitly stated on numerous occasions that neither Ellerup, Victoria, nor Christopher is suspected of any wrongdoing whatsoever.
In court documents, District Attorney Ray Tierney stated that investigators believe Ellerup and the children were out of town when Heuermann allegedly killed each of his four victims.
Travel and cellphone records established the trio were out of the state when Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello all disappeared.
Additionally, a bank statement and testimony provided by Ellerup indicated the mom and two kids were in Atlantic City when Maureen Brainard-Barnes disappeared in July 2007.
However, last week, Ray claimed a manager at the hotel where Ellerup and Co. stayed disputed the date of their check-in and questioned whether they were really out of town when Brainard-Barnes vanished.
Noting that hairs belonging to Ellerup and Victoria were found on or near each of the Gilgo Four, Ray urged investigators to take a closer look at the family once again.
In retort, Mitev blasted Ray’s allegations as unhinged and unsubstantiated and accused him of endangering the welfare of his clients.
“I guess in America anyone can say anything about anyone,” said Mitev.
“But rambling unhinged and inflammatory statements are especially dangerous because not only are they backed by nothing other than pure fantasy – and what appears to be ramblings from people with zero qualifications to make such statements – but they inflame the public with their demagoguery.
“That’s what’s really dangerous because it endangers the health, safety, and welfare of people who want nothing to do with any of this except to move on with their lives.”
Rex Heuermann appeared in court on Tuesday for the first time since being charged with Brainard-Barnes’ murder at the turn of the year.
His lawyer, Michael Brown, urged police to chase every lead in the case in an interview with reporters outside the courtroom.
He also said another suspect who was almost charged with the Gilgo Beach murders is going to be extremely important in the case.
“If they didn’t do anything we’ll see the lack of effort and the lack of investigation on any potential lead,” Brown said.
“That could be very problematic for them and that could help support our position.”
Heuermann remained silent and emotionless throughout the brief five-minute hearing.
His estranged wife, who filed for divorce shortly after Heuermann’s arrest, was not present in the courtroom.
Ellerup and her children are currently filming a tell-all documentary series with the NBC streaming platform Peacock.
It’s believed they’ve been paid more than $1 million for their participation.
Ellerup previously pledged to be present in court throughout Heuermann’s trial proceedings to “hear the evidence for herself,” her attorney Bob Macedonio revealed.
Mitev told The U.S. Sun on Monday that Victoria and Christopher will both attend as much of the trial as they’re able to cope with emotionally.
He said, “Certainly they will come. Victoria came to the last arraignment and they’re looking to be part of the process as much as they can handle and as much as they’re able to.
“I think along with everyone else, they want to see how this case is unfolding and what their next stages of life are going to be, and there’s only one way to do that – and that’s by attending.”
When quizzed whether Victoria and Christopher have or plan to visit their father in prison, Mitev responded, “It’s still up in the air honestly.
“If and when that happens, I’ll let you know.”
In the meantime, Mitev has written a letter to the Atlantic City hotel where Ellerup and her children stayed in July 2007, demanding its parent company Club Broadwalk Resorts share details about the unnamed manager’s alleged interactions with Ray.
During Ray’s symposium in New York on January 30, he claimed Ellerup and her children may have checked into the Flagship Hotel later than they claimed to police.
While the arrival date listed on Heuermann’s bank statement read July 7, 2007 – two days before Brainard-Barnes vanished – the manager allegedly told Ray that Ellerup didn’t check in until July 17.
He said, “The manager, who I spoke to over the phone, looked up the stay of Mrs. Ellerup and her time that was there and she looked it up and read it to us twice to make sure of what she was reading.
“And not only was she able to tell us their names, she was able to tell us the amount of the charge – which was $37.45 – […] and she said, ‘Yes, they stayed here from July 17, 2007, until July 23.’
“She had no reason to lie […] and if that’s true and if those records are correct, then the District Attorney is not right, and Asa Ellerup was not away on July 7, July 8, July 9, July 10,” and so on.
He added, “These things are important, they need to be considered.
“They belong in the circle of suspicion because they told the DA a story that doesn’t match the records.”
At the time, Mitev hit back at Ray’s remarks, calling them “unhinged, straw-grasping claims” that are “conclusively disproved by factual evidence.”
LEGAL ACTION POSSIBLE
Speaking to The U.S. Sun on Monday, Mitev renewed his criticisms of Ray, insisting he has an “unquenchable desire to somehow remain relevant in a case that has nothing to do with him.”
In his letter, Mitev demanded the company provide the name of the hotel manager in question, produce all telephone logs and records of their alleged interactions with Ray, and confirm their internal policies for data sharing without a court order or legal authorization.
Club Broadwalk Resorts has not yet responded to Mitev’s letter.
Emails seeking comment sent by The U.S. Sun have also not been returned.
Mitev said “all options are on the table” for escalating the matter should the hotel company fail to respond promptly.
He added, “Obviously, we want to know if these claims are true and if this conversation even took place.
“And if it is, we will take it from there. But if it’s not true, that’s also very important for the public to know that what has been claimed is not accurate or in any way, shape, or form relating to anything that took place.
“So we’re just going to wait and see what the hotel has to say, and we’ll keep following up until we get a response one way or the other.”
Concerning Ray, Mitev is not ruling anything out – including legal action – should his claims about his clients fail to cease.
“Well, as I’ve said before, all options are on the table, and my clients reserve all the rights and remedies under all state and federal laws against any person or entity with respect to this case,” Mitev said.
John Ray has been contacted for comment about Mitev’s remarks.
The District Attorney’s office declined to comment on Ray’s allegations when approached last week.
Mitev said he hasn’t heard from the District Attorney’s office since Ray made the allegations, signaling to him they aren’t taking them seriously nor “wasting resources” investigating them.
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