In a peculiar twist of fate, Asa Ellerup, the wife of alleged serial killer Rex Heuermann, is requesting the return of a valuable gun collection seized by the police. Ellerup, who is battling cancer and struggling with medical bills, has also initiated divorce proceedings against her husband, whom prosecutors accuse of leading a double life as a seemingly ordinary architect and a brutal murderer.
The collection, valued at around $300,000, boasts antique firearms dating back to the American Civil War and both World Wars. Her lawyer, Bob Macedonio, contends that there is no forensic value in these guns or in Heuermann’s 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche. Instead, the primary motivation behind the request is financial, with Ellerup seeking to alleviate her mounting healthcare expenses.
Macedonio suggests that the best course of action would be to appraise the guns through a licensed dealer and subsequently sell them as part of the marital assets in the ongoing divorce proceedings. He emphasizes that Ellerup is not interested in retaining the firearms but rather desires the monetary proceeds from their sale.
The family’s financial situation is already precarious, with the collapse of Heuermann’s business following his arrest resulting in the loss of Ellerup’s health insurance. The house where they reside in Massapequa Park, New York, has been significantly affected by the police’s extensive search for evidence in the serial killer case, exacerbating their living conditions.
Ellerup’s adult children are also grappling with the fallout of their father’s arrest. His daughter, who worked in his now-defunct architecture firm, is unemployed and faces pressure from clients seeking refunds for deposits. Meanwhile, his adult son resides with his mother and relies on disability payments.
However, Suffolk County prosecutors have raised objections to returning the seized guns, arguing that many of them were possessed illegally. Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Opisso noted that 26 handguns and 15 unregistered assault weapons were among the firearms confiscated during the investigation. Police had removed hundreds of guns from a safe in Heuermann’s basement during the search.
Rex Heuermann faces six murder charges related to the deaths of three women and is also the prime suspect in another killing. His wife’s DNA was found at the crime scenes, but she was out of town during each murder, and authorities have not named her as a suspect. It is believed her DNA may have been incidentally transferred by her husband.
As the legal battle over the fate of the seized guns continues, it remains to be seen whether they will be returned to Asa Ellerup for sale or retained as evidence by law enforcement. The story is a testament to the complex interplay between personal tragedy, legal matters, and criminal investigations in the wake of a high-profile arrest.