In what marks the latest legal problem for the accused murderer, New York state’s Labor Department sued Mr Heuermann on Tuesday for labour violations.
The lawsuit accuses the 59-year-old father-of-two of failing to pay outstanding damages to former employee Donna Sturman.
From February 2017 to March 2018, Ms Sturman worked as an executive assistant at RH Consultants & Associates – the architecture business Mr Heuermann founded in 1994.
During her employment, Mr Heuermann and his firm paid her below New York’s state’s minimum wage – effectively stealing $20,908.10 in wages from her, according to the suit.
This included $9,454.56 in vacation pay that Ms Sturman was owed.
In 2021 – two years before he was arrested on suspicion of being the serial killer who terrorised the shores of Long Island one decade before – Mr Heuermann and his firm agreed to settle the lawsuit for $84,945.84.
As well as the unpaid wages, the settlement included interest, damages and civil penalties.
Since then, Mr Heuermann has made just one payment of $16,385 and so still owes $68,560.84 in payments, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit is the least of Mr Heuermann’s troubles as he sits behind bars charged with the murders of three women.
The 59-year-old married father-of-two was taken into custody on 13 July when he left his architecture firm office in Midtown Manhattan and officers swooped on him in the centre of the city.
He was charged with the murders of Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Costello.
He is also the prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes – who was last seen alive in early June 2007 in New York City and who, with the three other women, is known as the “Gilgo Four”.
All four women worked as sex workers and disappeared after going to meet a client.
They were all found in December 2010 within one-quarter mile of each other, bound by belts or tape and some wrapped in burlap – their bodies dumped along Gilgo Beach.
They are among 11 victims whose remains were found along the shores of Long Island in 2010 and 2011, sparking fears of one or more serial killers.
His arrest is said to have caught his loved ones off guard and plunged them into
Vess Mitev, who began representing his adult children Victoria Heuermann, 26, and Christopher Sheridan, 33, after their father’s arrest, told The Independent that the family are now living in a “surreal hellscape”.
“The Heuermann children have been living in a constant, surreal, waking nightmare,” he said.
“Just because the news coverage doesn’t continue or it’s not in the news on a daily basis each day, for them it’s every day, it’s every moment. It’s the moment they wake up to the moment they go back to sleep again.
“It’s a situation you wouldn’t want to wish on anyone. It’s not a reality.”
He added: “Their focus has just been on managing their basic daily needs. We have specific, fundamental needs that we require to survive as people and that has really been their primary goal as their resources have been depleted completely or are no longer available to them.
“Their basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and a safe space to sleep in have been all but obliterated. They’re trying to piece back together those very basic but yet so vital things that most of us take for granted.”
Mr Mitev also hit out at the “wild conspiracy theories” that the family may have known about his alleged crimes saying that they “shouldn’t even be dignified with a response”.
“These allegations shouldn’t even be dignified with a response,” he said.
“But they are emblematic of someone with a thirst for the spotlight – an unquenchable thirst.”
The pushback comes after Long Island attorney John Ray accused Mr Heuermann’s wife Asa Ellerup of being involved in her husband’s alleged killing spree.
Speaking at a press conference last month, Mr Ray – who represents the families of two Gilgo Beach victims Shannan Gilbert and Jessica Taylor – claimed that Ms Ellerup should be treated as a suspect in the case.
“It’s part of one large criminal enterprise,” he said.
“She should be considered a suspect and not just a bystander or someone who’s been victimised by her husband.”
Mr Ray has offered no evidence for this claim and Long Island officials are not treating Ms Ellerup, Ms Heuermann or Mr Sheridan as suspects.
Court documents laying out the case against Mr Heuermann have stated that his family members were all out of town at the time of the killings.
When asked about the allegations levelled by Mr Ray, Mr Mitev slammed the fact that the “wild conspiracy theories” should even need to be addressed.
Instead of fending off unfounded claims about their own lives, Mr Mitev said that Victoria and Christopher are simply trying to survive after being thrust into the national spotlight when their father was arrested for three of the murders that terrorised the Long Island shores over a decade ago.
At the time of his bombshell arrest, the adult children still lived with their father and mother Asa Ellerup at the family home in Massapequa Park – a stone’s throw from Gilgo Beach where victims’ bodies were dumped.
Mr Mitev has previously revealed that the family are considering legal action against Suffolk County officials after they say their home was left “in a deplorable condition” from the two-week long police search.
Photos reveal holes cut out of bathtubs, the garden excavated and belongings strewn all over and piled up high in the home that the family of four shared.
Since then, Mr Heuermann’s children and wife have been spotted sitting outside their home – as Mr Mitev said the inside of the home is too much of a mess to be in.
“The reason they’ve been photographed so much on the front porch is not because that’s where they congregate but it’s that they have nowhere to sit inside because of the absolute ransacking of the home,” he said.
For now, the family members are just thankful for the kindness of strangers after receiving an outpouring of support from an unlikely source.
Melissa Moore, the daughter of the notorious Happy Face Killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, launched a GoFundMe campaign to help them as she compared their experiences discovering that a close family member had spent years leading a “double life” as an alleged serial killer.
As of 6 September, the GoFundMe had topped $53,000 in donations.
“They really do appreciate the outpouring of support and emotional solidarity. They’re not looking for anything and not looking for any of this,” said Mr Mitev.
“The one thing they want is to get some semblance of private life back.”
We are sorry that this article was not useful for you!
Let us improve this article!
Tell us how we can improve this article?