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Man Arrested In SC For 1998 East Hampton Murder

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Gertrude Ochankowski (Courtesy Cold Case website, Division of Criminal Justice)

Gertrude Ochankowski (Courtesy Cold Case website, Division of Criminal Justice)

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SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (AP) _ A man wanted in connection with the 1998 strangling of a Connecticut woman has been arrested in South Carolina, authorities said Wednesday.

Gerald Brian Tuttle, 51, was taken into custody Tuesday at his home in Surfside Beach, according to a news release from the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice.

Authorities said Tuttle is facing a murder charge in the death of Gertrude Ochankowski. The body of the 60-year-old woman was found floating in a shallow brook in a secluded area of East Hampton, Conn., on Jan. 12, 1998.

Authorities said Ochankowski had been washing clothes at a Laundromat when an attacker took her into a vacant apartment, sexually assaulted her, then strangled her. Her car was found outside the building, its engine still running.

Tuttle faces a fugitive from justice charge and was being held without bond Wednesday pending extradition to Connecticut, where he is charged with murder and faces a $1 million bond, according to Connecticut authorities.

Jail records listed no attorney for Tuttle, and authorities did not immediately respond to an inquiry about his legal representation.

Authorities said police in South Carolina and Connecticut, as well as the U.S. Marshals Service, collaborated on the case.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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