‘Erases all doubt.’ DNA from Heuermann's cheek swab consistent with DNA of hairs found on victim's body

The mitochondrial DNA profile of the hair rules out 99.96% of the population.

Krista McNally and Rachel Yonkunas

Sep 27, 2023, 9:35 AM

Updated 296 days ago


Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney said in court Wednesday that DNA from Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann’s cheek swab matches the DNA profile from his discarded pizza crust and the mitochondrial DNA of hairs found on one of the murder victims' bodies.
According to court documents, prosecutors said that means “there is scientific evidence of the Defendant’s contact not only with Ms. Waterman and where her remains were discovered, but also with the burlap utilized to restrain and transport her human remains."
As News 12 reported, Heuermann was charged with murder in the deaths of three women whose bodies were found on Gilgo Beach. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Rex Heuermann in court on Sept. 27
“The buccal swab erases all doubt,” Tierney said. “We were very confident that this was going to be the case.”
The mitochondrial DNA profile of the hair rules out 99.96% of the population. Heuermann’s DNA from the cheek swab confirms he is part of the .04% of people who could be a direct match to the mitochondrial DNA found at the crime scene on Gilgo Beach.
Mitochondrial DNA is one of two types of DNA found in the cell. It is passed down from the maternal line so people share mitochondrial DNA profiles only with relatives on their mother’s side of the family. The rest of the population is excluded.
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney speaks on DNA match:
Heuermann said in court that he has been reviewing discovery for two to three hours a day.
“He is an intelligent man, he has never been arrested, he wants to know what is it that they have that they are saying I’m involved in this,” said defense attorney Michael Brown.
Heuermann is due back in court on Nov. 15.

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