A Florida trucker was charged with the 2006 cold-case murder of a 24-year-old woman in Maryland weeks after he was arrested for the 1996 killing of a 29-year-old woman in Michigan, authorities announced.
Garry Artman, 64, of White Springs, Florida, was linked to both slayings by DNA evidence.
The body of Dusty Myriah Shuck, 24, was found May 4, 2006, dumped on the shoulder of the I-70 freeway in Frederick County, Maryland. She had been stabbed to death.
She had no shoes or identifying information on her — but a pair of dragon tattoos on her back under the phrase “Gypsy Rose” helped authorities identify her.
Shuck was last seen April 24 in her home state of New Mexico at a local hotel.
Investigators suspected the killer might be a truck driver after she was discovered so far from home — but they were unable to turn up any solid leads.
The Combined DNA Index System matched a sample from the 1996 cold-case killing of mother of two Sharon Hammack in Michigan to the 2006 murder — but police didn’t have a suspect.
A break came this year when advancements in DNA testing led the Kent County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan to connect Artman to the 1996 death of Hammack.
Hammack, who was pregnant, was found in a ditch bound, strangled and stabbed in the head Oct. 3 in Caledonia Township. She had also been sexually assaulted.
Artman was hit with murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct and other charges in her gruesome killing.
The office contacted Maryland State Police investigators and supplied them with a DNA swab from Artman, which matched the sample taken from the body of Shuck in 2006.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant Aug. 31 on a storage unit in Florida that belongs to Artman.
Authorities found several pieces of women’s underwear, which are being tested for DNA to see if they match other victims, officials said.
Artman is charged with murder and assault in Shuck’s death.
He is being held at Kent County Correctional Facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan.