South Carolina Man Charged in 1998 East Hampton Murder

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013  |  Updated 2:43 PM EDT
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South Carolina Man Charged in 1998 East Hampton Murder

City of Myrtle Beach

A South Carolina man has been arrested and charged with murder of a 60-year-old woman who was found dead in a stream on East Hampton in 1998.

On Monday, January 12, 1998, East Hampton police responded to a stream just off of Tartia Road, an area known as Engel’s Falls, after receiving a report that a woman’s body had been found.

The victim, Gertrude Ochankowski, was pronounced dead at the scene.

She had been reported missing hours earlier, when her car was found running in the front parking lot of 82 Main Street in East Hampton.   Witnesses said they saw her car running as early as 9:30 p.m. on January 11, 1998 and her dog was inside.

Gerald Brian Tuttle, 51, was arrested on Tuesday at his home in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, and charged as a fugitive from justice. Bond for Tuttle was set at $1 million.

The State of Connecticut had authorized a $50,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

The East Hampton Police Department in conjunction with the Office of the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Middlesex and the Cold Case Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.
 

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