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Family of Gilgo Beach murders suspect Rex Heuermann files notice of claim against law enforcement

Rex Heuermann's family files notice of claim against law enforcement
Rex Heuermann's family files notice of claim against law enforcement 02:20

TOWN OF ISLIP, N.Y. -- The family of accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann says their house is in shambles after police finished with their search, and they are filing a notice of claim against law enforcement.

Their lawyers spoke Friday on behalf of wife Asa Ellerup, who has filed for divorce, daughter Victoria and stepson Christopher.

Heuermann's arrest brought relief for many, but his family says for them, it's a surreal nightmare.

"Their valuables were shattered. Their beds were destroyed, the places that they laid their heads down at night no longer exist," said Vess Mitev, attorney for Victoria and Christopher. "The house is in shambles. It's ransacked."

Their attorneys say they're innocent bystanders, their lives turned upside-down -- their house, too. New photos show the mess they returned to after a 12-day search. They are filing a notice of claim to preserve their right to sue.

"It was piled floor to ceiling with debris," Ellerup's attorney Robert Macedonio said. "The drain pipes were taken out of the bathroom so you could not run any of the water."

Watch: Lawyers for Rex Heuermann's estrange wife speak out

Lawyers for Rex Heuermann's estrange wife speak out 17:33

Investigators said they examined every crevice of the already cluttered house, a potential crime scene, but the family provided a picture-perfect image of life in the Heuermann home prior to the search.

Heuermann is charged with killing three women and is the prime suspect in a fourth.

Officials do not believe the family knew about his alleged double life.

A GoFundMe was set up to help with, among other costs, health care for Ellerup, who is in cancer treatment.

But the attorney for some relatives of Gilgo Beach murder victims calls the appeal an outrage after Ellerup's DNA was also a match with hairs on some victims.

"She should be considered a suspect and not just a bystander or someone who has been victimized by her husband," said attorney John Ray.

Legal experts say the family complaints may not have legal standing.

"The police were doing their lawful obligation to pursue a lawful investigation into a suspected serial killer. I understand it's inconvenient when you might live with a suspected serial killer," defense attorney Ken Belkin said.

Heuermann must now submit to a DNA swab. His estranged wife and adult children voluntarily provided theirs but have not been interviewed by police.

A spokesperson for the Suffolk district attorney declined to comment on the family's complaints regarding the condition of the house after the search.

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