Remembering Melissa Barthelemy - the 1st found victim in Gilgo Beach murders

Melissa Barthelemy was just 24 years old at the time and had moved to the Bronx from Buffalo, working as an escort in 2009 before her disappearance.

News 12 Staff

Jul 14, 2023, 9:55 PM

Updated 285 days ago

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Rex Heuermann has been arrested by Suffolk police in several Gilgo Beach slayings, a massive step forward in a murder mystery lasting over a decade. MORE: Gilgo Beach suspect charged with murder
One of the victims in this cold case was Bronx resident Melissa Barthelemy, who was last seen on July 12, 2009. Over a year later, her remains were found near Gilgo Beach. Fourteen years following her disappearance, Heuermann has been arrested and charged with murder.  
Barthelemy was just 24 years old at the time and had moved to the Bronx from Buffalo, working as an escort in 2009 before her disappearance. She told her friend she was going to meet a man and never returned home.  
In December 2010, authorities say Barthelemy became the first victim of the Gilgo Beach serial killer. Her remains were found during a search for a different missing escort, along with the bodies of three other women. Between 2010 and 2011, the body count near Gilgo Beach reached at least 10, with no suspects ever being named during those discoveries.  
Someone claiming to be Barthelemy’s killer used a cellphone to call and taunt her teenage sister. Police tracked the phone calls to Manhattan and neighborhoods on Long Island, including Massapequa.  
Heuermann is charged with murder in the killings of three women found near Gilgo Beach, including Barthelemy. Authorities say he is a prime suspect in other cases in that area.  


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