'Package Killer' Detective Asks Public's Help IDing Serial Murder Victim

Detective Jodi Weber says she expects to testify before a St. Charles grand jury next month

click to enlarge Jodi Weber of the O'Fallon police department. - COURTESY PHOTO
COURTESY PHOTO
Jodi Weber of the O'Fallon police department.

O'Fallon Police Department Sergeant Jodi Weber, the detective who solved the so-called "Package Killer" serial murder cold case, is reaching out to the public with new information and a request for the public's assistance.

Weber's years of investigative work came to fruition last month when prosecuting attorneys 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 garbage can, in a metal barrel — leading him to be dubbed the Package Killer.

He has been in law enforcement custody since 1993, when he murdered an acquaintance, Kenneth "Doc" Atchison.

When Weber confronted Muehlberg in prison 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 more: 40-year-old Donna Reitmeyer and a fifth woman whose name he doesn't remember — if he ever knew it to begin with.

Weber says she is preparing next month to testify before a grand jury in St. Charles County, the jurisdiction handling the homicide of Sandy Little, whose body was found in a homemade box in O'Fallon in February 1991. For decades she was believed to be the Package Killer's final victim.

As the prosecution against the alleged serial murderer progresses, Weber is asking for the public's help identifying that fifth victim, about whose identity Muehlberg seems to have only retained the most threadbare of clues.

According to Weber, Muehlberg has said the unidentified woman was white, with shoulder-length, dark brown hair.

Weber says that Muehlberg remembers picking up one of the women he killed from the Wedge bar at corner of Bates and Virginia in the Carondelet neighborhood

"He was in the bar that night," she says, adding that if anyone knows anything about a woman last seen there to please contact law enforcement.

click to enlarge This story from the Post-Dispatch refers to the Wedge bar, from which Gary Muehlberg says he kidnapped a woman,  killed her, then held her body for a long time. - Post-Dispatch archives
Post-Dispatch archives
This story from the Post-Dispatch refers to the Wedge bar, from which Gary Muehlberg says he kidnapped a woman, killed her, then held her body for a long time.
Weber says that Muehlberg dumped the unidentified victim's body last of all the women he killed, meaning that it would have been after February 1991. He doesn't remember when he abducted the woman, but he thinks he held onto her body for the longest, maybe even for years.

Weber says that puts the approximate time of this woman's abduction anywhere between 1989 and 1991.

There are also some discrepancies surrounding where Muehlberg left the unidentified victim's body.

Muehlberg says he left her body in a metal barrel at the Ram Jet self-service car wash on Natural Bridge Avenue in Berkeley during winter.

click to enlarge The Ram Jet car wash in Pagedale.
O'Fallon Police Department
The Ram Jet car wash in Pagedale.

However, the son of the car wash's owner — as well as a Pagedale municipal employee — say that they remember a woman's body being found at a different Ram Jet on Pennsylvania Avenue.

"Muehlberg says it was at one car wash. And we have two people that say, 'No, there was a body dumped at a different car wash.' He's adamant that it was that specific car wash on Natural Bridge," Weber says.

She says it's entirely possibly that there were bodies discovered at both car washes.

"We need the public’s help," Weber says. "If anyone knows about a body being disposed of at a car wash in the St. Louis area, please call us. Any of the past investigators should know something."

Muehlberg has told Weber he's talking to someone in prison to help recover memories. But prison officials say there's no one like that on staff.

"So I don't know about the qualifications of the person he's talking to," she says.

Gary Muehlberg in 1993. - Police booking photo
Police booking photo
Gary Muehlberg in 1993.


CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated where the body of Sandy Little was found. We regret the error.

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About The Author

Ryan Krull

Ryan Krull is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times. Find him on Twitter @ryanwkrull
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