CSAO: South Carolina Man Charged in 1998 East Hampton "Cold Case" Homicide

South Carolina Man Charged in 1998 East Hampton "Cold Case" Homicide

A South Carolina man has been arrested and charged with Murder in the 1998 homicide of a woman who was found strangled in a stream in East Hampton.

GERALD BRIAN TUTTLE, age 51, was arrested on Tuesday at his home in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, and charged as a fugitive from justice in the homicide of Gertrude Ochankowski. He is charged in an arrest warrant issued in Connecticut with one count of Murder.

The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the East Hampton Police Department in conjunction with the Office of the Stateís Attorney for the Judicial District of Middlesex and the Cold Case Unit in the Office of the Chief Stateís Attorney.

Bond on the warrant charging Tuttle with Murder is set at $1 million. The charge is merely an accusation and Tuttle is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office of the State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Middlesex.

On Monday, January 12, 1998, East Hampton police responded to a report of the body of a woman found in a stream just off of Tartia Road in East Hampton, an area known as Engelís Falls.

The victim was identified as Ms. Ochankowski, who was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death was strangulation and the case was ruled a homicide.

Ms. Ochankowski had been the subject of a missing personís investigation earlier that day after her car was found running in the front parking lot of 82 Main Street in East Hampton. Witnesses saw her car running with her dog inside as early as 9:30 p.m. on January 11, 1998.

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

Content Last Modified on 12/11/2013 3:48:31 PM