O’Fallon Police Department Sergeant Jodi Weber, the detective who solved the so-called “Package Killer” serial murder case, reaches out to the public with new information and a request for help from the audience.
Weber’s years of investigative work came to fruition last month when prosecutors in three jurisdictions announced homicide charges against Gary Muehlberg, 73, for four murders he allegedly committed in 1990 and 1991.
Muehlberg left the victim’s bodies in various containers – between two mattresses, in a plastic trash can, in a metal barrel – which led to him being nicknamed the Package Killer.
He has been held by law enforcement since 1993, when he murdered an acquaintance, Kenneth “Doc” Atchison.
When Weber confronted Muehlberg in jail earlier this year with DNA evidence, he confessed to three additional murders: Robyn Mihan, 18, Brenda Pruitt, 27, Sandy Little, 21.
Then he wrote Weber a letter confessing to two others: Donna Reitmeyer, 40, and a fifth woman whose name he can’t remember — if he ever knew to begin with.
Weber says she is preparing next month to testify before a grand jury in St. Charles County, the jurisdiction responsible for the homicide of Sandy Little, whose body was found in a craft box in Maryland Heights in February 1991. For decades, she was believed to be the Package Killer’s latest victim.
As the prosecution of the alleged serial killer progresses, Weber asks for the public’s help in identifying this fifth victim, whose identity Muehlberg seems to have retained only the most threadbare clues.
According to Weber, Muehlberg said the unidentified woman was white, with shoulder-length dark brown hair.
Weber says Muehlberg remembers picking up one of the women he killed at the Wedge bar on the corner of Bates and Virginia in the Carondelet neighborhood
“He was at the bar that night,” she said, adding that if anyone knows anything about a woman who was last seen, please contact law enforcement.
Weber says Muehlberg dumped the unidentified victim’s body last of all the women he killed, meaning it would have been after February 1991. He doesn’t remember when he removed the woman, but he thinks he clung to his body the longest, maybe even for years.
Weber says that puts the approximate time of this woman’s abduction between 1989 and 1991.
There are also discrepancies regarding where Muehlberg left the body of the unidentified victim.
Muehlberg says he left his body in a metal barrel at the Ram Jet self-service car wash on Natural Bridge Avenue in Berkeley during the winter.
However, the car wash owner’s son — as well as a Pagedale city worker — say they remember a woman’s body being found in another Ram Jet on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Muehlberg says it was in a car wash. And we have two people saying, ‘No, there was a body dumped in another car wash. He’s adamant that it was that specific car wash on Natural Bridge,” Weber said.
She says it’s entirely possible bodies were found at both car washes.
“We need the public’s help,” Weber says. “If anyone knows a body was dumped in a car wash in the St. Louis area, please give us a call. Any of the former investigators should know something.”
Muehlberg told Weber he was talking to someone in prison to help him recover memories. But prison officials say there is no one like that on staff.
“So I don’t know the qualifications of the person he’s talking to,” she says.
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