Accused Gilgo Beach killer charged in 2003 murder of Poughkeepsie woman

Poughkeepsie native Jessica Taylor's body was found, decapitated and with her hands cut off, in a wooded area of Manorville in July 2003.

Ben Nandy

Jun 6, 2024, 9:42 PM

Updated 10 days ago

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Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney joined the families of two murder victims Thursday to announce Rex Heuermann has been charged in their deaths about a year after his being charged in the murders of four women known as “The Gilgo Four.”
Poughkeepsie native Jessica Taylor's body was found, decapitated and with her hands cut off, in a wooded area of Manorville in July 2003. She was 20 years old. Her skull and hands were found eight years later on Gilgo Beach.
"This year has been 21 years since she was taken from us, longer than the chance that she got to be alive," Taylor's cousin Jasmine Robinson said at the press conference. "I can't express what this day means after waiting and hoping for answers."
According to court records, in July 2003, Taylor called her mother in Poughkeepsie to let her know she would be visiting a few days later to celebrate her mother's birthday.
Just after that seven-minute call, prosecutors said, Taylor called a phone that was traced to Midtown Manhattan, where they believe Heuermann was at the time. Investigators said it may have been the last phone call she ever made.
Taylor did not show up to her mother's house as planned.
Prosecutors said Taylor was a sex worker who worked close to Heuermann's midtown Manhattan office.
Since Heuermann was first charged last year with the murders of the Gilgo Four, other forensic test results came back.
Tierney said a strand of hair found by Taylor's body was linked to a woman who lived with Heuermann at the time.
Taylor's family said she was bright, loved children, loved her mother, and was trying to turn her life around.
Women's rights attorney Gloria Alred is representing Taylor's family, and read a statement written by Taylor's mother, Elizabeth Baczkiel.
"Jessica, my darling daughter, you will never be forgotten," Alred read from the statement. "You will forever be in our hearts."
Tierney said he is ethically bound to speak only about details mentioned in Heuermann's bail application documents, but said he will reveal more about Taylor's death at trial.


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