The grieving sister of one of four women linked to the Gilgo Beach serial killer said her loved one’s gruesome murder still haunts her dreams – and she blames police for not having the alleged killer for more than a decade to have caught.
Amanda Gove, in an interview with Patch Riverhead last year – 12 years after her disappearance – criticized the Suffolk County Police Department’s decision to only release video evidence in the case of her half-sister Megan Waterman.
“Are you kidding me? This should have been released that day or the next day or asap, not now,” she scoffed at footage showing Waterman at a Hauppauge hotel just before she disappeared.
This and other mistakes, Gove added, likely resulted in “the case being sabotaged”.
Waterman – with whom Gove shared a father, although they had different mothers – was just 22 when she went missing on June 6, 2010.
Her remains, wrapped in burlap, were found near the bodies of three other women on Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach in December.
Last month, architect Rex Heuermann was arrested and charged with killing Waterman and two of the other ‘Gilgo Four’, Amber Lynn Costello, 27, and Melissa Barthelemy, 24.
He is the “prime suspect” in the death of the fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25.
In the nearly 13 years since Waterman’s body was found, six months after her disappearance, Gove said she has experienced vivid dreams in which she sensed her sister’s presence.
The grieving woman said she sometimes dreams of a house and garage she doesn’t recognize – and suspects it could be her sister trying to communicate with her.
In addition to the visions of the unfamiliar house, Gove said she sometimes felt like she was by Waterman’s side in her harrowing final moments.
“I had a nightmare every night, a repetitive nightmare, where I could hear her say my name, ‘Amanda, Amanda.’ I didn’t want to go to bed,” she said.
The two have a very close bond, Gove said, calling Waterman “my best friend.”
“We lived together for eight years. I’ve been hanging out with this girl almost every day since I was 14. We were inseparable. We were pregnant together – and had our children two weeks apart.”
Gove called Heuermann’s identification as her sister’s alleged killer “a curiosity”.
“I was shocked,” she said.
In the days following his arrest, investigators are known to have torn apart Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home in search of further evidence that could link him to the Gilgo victims or possible other crimes.
In the months following Waterman’s initial disappearance, Gove said she came across a photograph of two hearts connected in the sand. The two sisters both loved hearts.
“It sounds crazy, but I knew she was on the water, on the beach,” Gove said of the coastal swamps where Waterman’s strangled body was eventually found.
She even searched the area herself, although she lived miles away at the time.
“It was unlike anything I had ever felt before. I felt helpless, I was miles away,” she recalls.
“And there she was found.”
Gove told Patch she was frustrated with the way her sister was portrayed in the media to this day.
Like the other Gilgo victims – Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Lynn Costello – Waterman was advertising as a sex worker at her death.
“She was so much more than [a sex worker]. She was a sister. She was a mother. Sex worker – she wasn’t,” Gove insisted.
Waterman, her sister added, would never have willingly left their then three-year-old daughter, Liliana, behind.
Her death shocked her family, Gove said.
“It was the worst thing I’ve ever been through – and I’m still going through it. I used to tell her, “I don’t know what I would do without you.” I still don’t know what to do without her,” she explained.
Gove and Waterman’s brother, Greg, was also “heartbroken” by the murder.
“Seeing my older brother cry was a shock to me. Seeing him cry, seeing him look so broken – it crushed me,” Gove recalled of the funeral.
Bringing Waterman’s body home gave the family some closure, but Gove said every day was still “quite literally hell” as they await justice.
Meanwhile, Heuermann is in custody in Riverhead, where Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon Jr. said he meets with a minister once a week.
The father of two pleaded not guilty to the killings of Waterman, Barthelemy and Costello last month. No charges have yet been filed in connection with the death of Brainard-Barnes.