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Missouri man dubbed the "Package Killer" admits to killing 2 women over 30 years ago

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A Missouri man dubbed the "Package Killer" for his method of disposing bodies received two life sentences Tuesday after admitting to killing two women in the St. Louis area more than 30 years ago. Gary Muehlberg, 74, has now pleaded guilty to killing three women and faces a hearing next week in the death of a fourth. Remains of all four women were found in 1990 or 1991.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the bodies of all four women were found in containers — two in garbage cans, one in a wooden box and one between two mattresses. They became known as the "package killer" murders.

Gary Muehlberg KMOV

CBS affiliate KMOV-TV reported Muehlberg was already serving a life sentence for the 1993 murder of Kenneth Atchison when DNA linked him to at least four additional murders.  Atchison's body was found in Muehlberg's basement in a makeshift coffin, the station reported.

The cases were solved after O'Fallon Detective Jodi Weber found DNA evidence while examining old, unsolved homicides. Muehlberg confessed after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday to murdering Brenda Pruitt and Donna Reitmeyer. The new life sentences will run concurrently with two other life sentences he was previously given.

Pruitt was 27 when her family reported her missing on May 9, 1990. Her body was found in October 1991 inside a plastic trash can on the side of a busy road in St. Louis County. Authorities said she had been smothered or strangled.

Reitmeyer's body was found June 11, 1990, inside a trash can on a sidewalk in the city of St. Louis. She was a 40-year-old mother of three daughters.

St. Louis Area-Killings
Dawn McIntosh hugs O'Fallon, Missouri, Detective Jodi Weber on Sept. 19, 2022, after a news conference announcing that a man has been charged for killing four women in the St. Louis area in 1990 in Clayton, Mo. McIntosh's mother, Donna Reiteyer, was one of the victims.  Jim Salter / AP

On March 6, Muehlberg admitted to murdering 21-year-old Sandy Little, whose body was found inside a dresser abandoned along a highway in O'Fallon on Feb. 17, 1991.

A hearing is scheduled for March 31 in the death of 18-year-old Robyn Mihan. Her body was found between two mattresses secured together with wire along a road near the small rural Missouri town of Silex on March 26, 1990.

Court documents say Muehlberg also admitted to killing a fifth woman at his home and disposing of her body in a metal barrel he left near a self-service car wash. Her remains were never found.

A motive for the killings has not been disclosed.

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