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Authorities investigate possible link between alleged Gilgo Beach killer Rex Heuermann, missing South Carolina woman

Jeremy Hogan/Getty Images

(SUMTER, S.C.) — South Carolina authorities said they are investigating a possible connection between accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann and a woman who has been missing since 2017.

Julia Ann Bean was last seen alive on May 31, 2017, in Sumter County. Her daughter reported her missing on Nov. 18, 2017, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

A person claiming to be a friend of the woman came forward and presented “third hand” information, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said it shared the new information with the FBI and also that the investigation into Bean’s disappearance remains ongoing.

Bean’s daughter, Cameron, responded to investigators’ requests for an interview and recalled seeing someone with her mother who “could possibly be Heuermann,” the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

“Investigators have been pouring over the information they have recently received to determine if there is any evidence linking Bean with Heuermann. Yet there are no confirmed facts that confirm or deny the possibility of a connection,” the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release this week.

Investigators are interviewing individuals and investigating reports that she may have been seen with Heuermann.

“Her case will remain open until she is found,” the sheriff’s office said.

Heuermann owns four vacant lots in Chester County, South Carolina, which is about 90 minutes northwest of Sumter. Authorities in Chester County have said they are also looking into any possible connections between missing people and Heuermann.

Heuermann has been arrested in connection with three of the 10 victims linked in the Gilgo Beach, New York, murders.

Heuermann — a New York City architect — is charged with the murders of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello, whose bodies were found covered in burlap along Ocean Parkway on Long Island’s South Shore in December 2010.

Barthelemy disappeared in July 2009, Waterman disappeared in June 2010 and Costello was last seen in September 2010. The three women were between 22 and 27 years old and were sex workers, court records said.

He is also the prime suspect in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who disappeared in 2007.

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