The grieving sister of one of the four women linked to the Gilgo Beach serial killer said her loved one’s grisly slaying still haunts her dream — and she blames police for failing to catch the alleged murderer for more than a decade.
Amanda Gove, in an interview with Patch Riverhead, slammed Suffolk County Police’s decision to only release video evidence in her half-sister Megan Waterman’s case last year – 12 years after her disappearance.
“Are you kidding me? That should have been released that day or the next day or as soon as possible, not now,” she scoffed of the footage, showing Waterman in a Hauppauge hotel just before she vanished.
This and other mistakes, Gove added, probably ended up “sabotaging the case.”
Waterman — with whom Gove shared a father, but had different mothers — was just 22 when she went missing on June 6, 2010.
Her burlap-wrapped remains were found near the bodies of three other women off Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach that 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 feels her sister’s presence.
The grieving woman said she sometimes dreams about a house and garage she does not recognize — which she thinks may be her sister trying to communicate with her.
In addition to visions of the unknown house, Gove said she sometimes she feels she is by Waterman’s side in her harrowing final moments.
“I had a nightmare, every single night, a repetitive nightmare where I could hear her saying my name, ‘Amanda, Amanda.’ I didn’t want to go to bed,” she said.
The two shared a very tight bond, Gove said, calling Waterman “my best friend.”
“We lived together for 8 years. From the time I was 14 on, I spent almost every day with that girl. We were inseparable. We were pregnant together — and had our kids two weeks apart.”
Gove called Heuermann’s identification as her sister’s alleged killer “a curveball.”
“I was shocked,” she said.
Investigators famously tore apart Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home in the days after his arrest in search for more evidence to tie him to the Gilgo victims or possible other crimes.
In the months after Waterman first disappeared, Gove said she stumbled upon a photograph of two hearts linked in sand. The two sisters both loved hearts.
“It sounds crazy, but I knew she was by the water, by the beach,” Gove said of the coastal marshes were Waterman’s strangled body was eventually found.
She even searched the area herself, though she lived miles away at the time.
“It was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. I felt helpless, I was miles away,” she recalled.
“And that’s where she was found.”
Gove told Patch she was frustrated by how her sister has been 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 when she died.
“She was so much more than [a sex worker]. She was a sister. She was a mother. Sex worker — that’s not who she was,” Gove insisted.
Waterman, her sister added, also would never voluntarily have left her then-3-year-old daughter, Liliana, behind.
Her death shattered their family, Gove said.
“It was the worst thing I ever went through — and that I’m still going through. I always told 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 “broken” by the killing.
“To see my older brother cry, it was a shock to me. To see him cry, to see him looking so broken — it crushed me,” Gove recalled of the funeral.
Bringing Waterman’s body home gave the family some closure, but Gove said that every day is still “literally hell” as they wait for justice.
Meanwhile, Heuermann is in custody in Riverhead, where Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon Jr. said he is meeting with a clergyman once a week.
The father of two pleaded not guilty to killing Waterman, Barthelemy and Costello last month. Charges have not yet been filed in regards to Brainard-Barnes’ death.