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Crime News Murders

Wife of Gilgo Beach Murder Suspect Rex Heuermann Files for Divorce, Attorney Says

Asa Ellerup, who's divorcing her husband Rex Heuermann, the suspect in Long Island's Gilgo Beach murders, was out of the country during the time of the deaths, according to authorities.

By Elisabeth Ford

The wife of Rex Heuermann, the man charged with the murders of three women whose remains were discovered along Long Island’s Gilgo Beach in 2010, filed for divorce Wednesday, her lawyer revealed.

Attorney Robert Macedonio said that a complaint and summons had been filed on behalf of Asa Ellerup in Suffolk County Supreme Court, according to NBC News. He declined to comment further on the matter.

According to a bail application obtained by Oxygen.com, authorities have established that Ellerup was out of the country when the murders occurred and is not considered a suspect in her estranged husband's case.

RELATED: Gilgo Beach Murder Suspect Rex Heuermann "Traumatized" After Arrest, His Lawyer Says

Heuermann, 59, was charged Friday with three counts each of first- and second-degree murder in the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy, 24; Megan Waterman, 22; and Amber Lynn Costello 27.

The remains of all three women, who are believed to have been sex workers, were found wrapped in burlap along Long Island's southern shoreline after disappearing between 2009 and 2010.

Crime laboratory officers outside a Long Island home.

Heuermann, a father of two, is also considered a prime suspect in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who's considered to be among the “Gilgo Four” victims — which also include Barthelemy, Waterman, and Costello — though he hasn't been charged in Brainard-Barnes' death.

The “Gilgo Four” made national headlines after their bodies were discovered while police were searching for Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker who vanished on May 1, 2010 after leaving a client’s home on Oak Beach, Long Island. Prior to her disappearance, Gilbert called 911, telling dispatchers that “somebody’s after me.”

RELATED: Hairs Found on Gilgo Beach Murder Victims Led to Arrest of Rex Heuermann, Prosecutors Say

Additional bodies turned up for months in the Gilgo Beach area, through 2011. A total of 11 bodies were found, including Gilbert, a man, a toddler and other female sex workers.

At Heuermann’s arraignment last Friday, Brown said his client denies any involvement in the murders.

"The only thing he did say, as he was in tears, was, 'I didn’t do this,'" Brown told NBC News Friday. "He's distraught. He's clearly distraught about the charges here."

A mugshot of Rex Heuermann

According to court documents, female hairs were found on the victims, which, through mitochondrial DNA testing not available in 2010, were all linked to the same woman, with more than a 99% match for Heuermann's wife.

The investigation determined that Ellerup was not in the United States at the time of the killings.

"As such, it is likely that the burlap, tape, vehicle(s) or other instrumentalities utilized in furtherance of these murders came from Defendant Heuermann's residence, where his wife also resides, or was transferred from his clothing," prosecutors said.

Testing was also done on a hair found on one of the bodies, which matched the DNA from leftover pizza crust Heuermann threw away in a city garbage can in January, according to court documents.

At his arraignment Friday, Brown entered a not guilty plea on Heuermann’s behalf.

RELATED: Billy Baldwin Says Gilgo Beach Murder Suspect Was a High School Classmate

In an interview with ABC News Friday, Brown told reporters that Heuermann is “traumatized” from his arrest.

"Rex Heuermann is 59 years old with no prior criminal history. He is a college graduate and is a hardworking licensed architect who has his own NYC firm,” he told News 12 Long Island. “He is a loving husband to his wife of over 25 years and an involved and dedicated father to his daughter and stepson.

The investigation into the case has expanded into Nevada and South Carolina. Police are looking into unsolved cases in Las Vegas, where Heuermann and his wife had a timeshare, CNN reported, citing property records. South Carolina’s Chester County Sherriff’s Office is also investigating Heuermann, who, according to tax records cited by CNN, owns large parcels of land in the area.