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Crime News Murders

Rex Heuermann's Estranged Wife Has Cancer as Gilgo Beach Murder Suspect Awaits Trial

A lawyer for Asa Ellerup said she's been battling breast and skin cancer for several years, and that she'll lose health insurance in two months.

By Cydney Contreras

An attorney for Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann's estranged wife Asa Ellerup is asking for compassion as she seeks cancer treatment amid his arrest.

Attorney Robert Macedonio shared in an August 11 press conference that Ellerup, 59, has been battling skin and breast cancer for the past several years. She has about 18 months left in her treatment but will lose health insurance in two months since she received coverage through Heuermann's employment at an architecture firm, the lawyer said.

RELATED: Gilgo Beach Murder Suspect Rex Heuermann's Actions Were "Disturbing" Before Arrest, Police Say

"That’s a big fear and stress on her, on top of all this other stuff that’s going on," the lawyer said, according to the New York Post.

Macedonio noted that Ellerup and her children, Christopher Sheridan, 33, and Victoria Heuermann, 26, are considering a lawsuit against law enforcement after returning to find their Massapequa Park, New York, home in shambles. Photos shared at the press conference reveal that the home was left disorganized, their belongings strewn across the floors, which were also cut into.

Serial killer Rex A. Heuermann's daughter Victoria Heuermann (left) and wife Asa Ellerup, 59.

"It was piled floor to ceiling with debris that was just taken out of the attic,” Macedonio said. “The children and Asa were sleeping on foam mats on the floor next to the dog."

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said that investigators uncovered new evidence during their 12-day search of the Long Island home, which he described as "cluttered." The backyard was additionally excavated after ground-penetrating radar detected "disturbances."

RELATED: Prosecutors in Gilgo Beach Murders Case Turn Over "Massive Amount” of Evidence Against Rex Heuermann

"There was nothing of note that was taken from the backyard as far as remains," Tierney shared. "There is a whole entire trace analysis that we have to go through with the house with regard to hair fibers, DNA, blood, which we'll have to await the results on."

Melissa Moore, daughter of Happy Face Killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, has since launched a GoFundMe to raise money for the family of Heuermann as they go about restoring their home. As someone who has gone through a similar experience, Moore — whose father was convicted of murdering eight women across the United States — said she felt compelled to help Ellerup.

A mugshot of Rex Heuermann

“Today, I have an opportunity to use my voice to help Asa, who isn't in a place to speak about the terror and horror she and her family are experiencing at this moment,” Moore wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Ellerup, meanwhile, said she's focused on helping her children cope with the arrest of Heuermann, who has been accused of murdering Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Lynn Costello, 27. He's also a prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

RELATED: Sex Workers Are Coming Forward About Alleged Encounters with Gilgo Beach Serial Killer Suspect Rex Heuermann

Heuermann was arrested after months of investigation, as well as the identification of DNA found on burlap used to wrap the women whose bodies were found in Gilgo Beach. The DNA was determined to belong to Heuermann, as well as Ellerup, who was out of town at the time of the murders, according to investigators.

Heuermann has since been ordered by a judge to submit additional DNA for testing. The direct DNA sample is eligible to be submitted to statewide and nationwide databases, ABC News reported.