DNA test links an architect to the murder of three women in New York

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DNA taken from the suspect in a string of Long Island murders matches genetic material taken from a slice of pizza that was used as a clue to arrest him, prosecutors said in court Wednesday.

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Authorities had taken the test from Rex Heuermann, extracting DNA from his cheek with a swab.

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Heurmann, 60, was arrested on July 13 accused of the murders of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello, three of the women whose bodies were found on a remote Long Island highway, and has been named the main suspect in the death of a fourth woman.

He has pleaded not guilty and has been held without bond at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead.

At the time of his arrest, prosecutors said they had analyzed DNA from a pizza crust that Heuermann had thrown into a Manhattan trash can and compared it to DNA from hairs found on Waterman’s body. Prosecutors then obtained permission from the court to collect DNA from a mouth swab from Heuermann as additional evidence linking him to Waterman’s murder.

“The buccal swab erases all doubt,” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney told the judge, according to Newsday.

The arrest of Heuermann, an architect, came 13 years after police searching for a missing woman found 10 groups of human remains buried in the bushes near remote Gilgo Beach on Long Island.

Authorities suspected some of the murders had been committed by a serial killer, but have long said they did not believe all the victims were killed by the same person. Most of the murders remain unsolved.

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