ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A cold case detective from O’Fallon, Missouri and technicians with the St. Charles County Police Crime Lab are being credited with solving a decades-old series of murders in the St. Louis region.

In 2008, Det. Sgt. Jodi Weber began investigating the murders of Robyn Mihan, Sandy Little, Brenda Pruitt. The women disappeared in 1990 and 1991 along “The Southside Stroll,” a part of Cherokee Street known for prostitution and drug dealing. They were found murdered in St. Charles, St. Louis, and Lincoln counties.

Weber sent evidence to the St. Charles County Police Crime Lab to look for DNA and would regularly follow up with technicians regarding the investigation.

In April 2022, the crime lab linked Gary Muehlberg to at least one of the murders by matching his DNA to samples in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.

Muehlberg, 73, is currently imprisoned at the Potosi Correctional Center in Mineral Point, Missouri, for the February 1993 murder of Kenneth Atchison. He was sentenced in 1995 to life in prison without parole.

Weber interviewed Muehlberg in person on two occasions. During the first interview, police said he confessed to killing Mihan, Little, and Pruitt. After the second interview, Muehlberg wrote Weber a letter and admitted to two more murders.

Weber visited Muehlberg in prison a third time and received information linking him to the murder of Donna Reitmeyer. The fifth victim remains unidentified, police said. Muehlberg told Weber he hid that body inside a metal barrel at a car wash.

On Monday, prosecutors from St. Charles, St. Louis, and Lincoln counties charged Muehlberg with those murders.

“Today is a combination of many years’ heartache for the victims. It’s been over 30 years that these murders have been unsolved,” St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell credited the collaborative effort among multiple law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices to bring justice to the victims’ families.

“These cases were gruesome and hideous. And even 30 years later, it was important for us to stand forward and show that we can provide some answers for these families,” said Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Wood.

Bell’s office charged Muehlberg with two counts of first-degree murder for Pruitt and Reitmeyer’s deaths. Pruitt’s body was discovered on Oct. 4, 1990, inside a plastic trash can, along Basston Drive in Maryland Heights. Reitmeyer’s body was found on June 11, 1990, in a plastic trash can, in a city park near 2600 Gasconade Street in south St. Louis.

On March 26, 1990, Mihan’s body was located alongside Highway E in Silex, Missouri. She’d been placed between a pair of mattresses and sandwiched together with wire.

Little’s body was found inside a dresser, which had then been placed in a plywood box, along westbound Interstate 70 in O’Fallon, on Feb. 17, 1991.

St. Charles prosecutors charged Muehlberg earlier Monday for Little’s murder since her body was discovered in their jurisdiction.

As for Atchison, police said Muehlberg stashed his body in a small wooden box and left it in the basement of Muehlberg’s Bel-Ridge home.

Lohmar said Muehlberg has agreed to fully cooperate with the joint investigation and there may be additional charges to come.

There could be more victims waiting to be discovered.

“There is at least some information to suggest that,” Wood said.

Investigators said Muehlberg admitted to soliciting each of the women for sex and driving them to his home in Bel-Ridge. He then killed them after having sex with them, either by strangulation, choking, or suffocation.

Members of the victims’ families say justice has been served.

“I forgive him. It may feel strange, but I pray for him. And may God have mercy on his soul,” said Sandra Kuehnle, Robyn Mihan’s mother.

Dawn McIntosh, Donna Reiteyer’s daughter, said this day has been a long time coming.

“It has traumatized me,” she said.