UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

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Normal UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Guest on Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:09 am

JUPITER -  Four people, including a 6-year-old girl, are dead and another is in the hospital after police say a man opened fire on relatives during a Thanskgiving Day feast in Jupiter.

The search is on for 35-year-old Michael Merihige of Miami, who left the scene in a blue 4-door Toyota with Florida tags W427JT after the 10 p.m. shooting, authorities said.

Police were called to the home in the 100 block of Via Veracruz after someone called 911, spokesman Sgt. Scott Pascarella said Friday morning.

Authorities told WPEC-Ch. 12 that Merhige fatally shot his twin sisters Lisa and Carla Merhige, both 33 and from Miami, as well as Ramon Joseph, 76, of Jupiter, and 6-year-old Makayla Sitton, of Jupiter.

A fifth victim, identified as Patrick McKnight, 36, of Miami, is being treated at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. He is in critical condition.
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http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/fl-jupiter-fatal-shootings-112709-20091127,0,7076341.story


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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:41 pm

Six shot, four dead at Palm Beach County Thanksgiving gathering

Paul Michael Merhige (JUPITER POLICE DEPARTMENT / November 27, 2009)



By Eliot Kleinberg and Bill DiPaolo, The Palm Beach Post

12:57 p.m. EST, November 27, 2009

JUPITER - Federal marshals and law enforcement officers from Jupiter to southern Miami-Dade County are searching today for Michael Merhige, a 35-year-old Miami-area man who police say shattered a family Thanksgiving dinner in Jupiter.

Merhige fatally shot his twin sisters and his 76-year-old aunt, injured two other relatives and killed his 6-year-old niece as she slept in her bed.

"God packed a lot of sweetness into that little body," Jim Sitton, shaken and ashen, told reporters this morning.

The photographer for WPTV-Ch. 5 found himself on the other side of the camera in the worst way. Merhige was his brother-in-law. The shootout occurred in his home. Lisa Knight — who was pregnant — and Carla Merhige, both 33, were his sisters, according to the station's web site.

And Makayla was his only child.

Merhige, who as a Miami-area teen had been a top scholar and athlete at the prestigious Gulliver Preparatory School, is believed armed and dangerous, Jupiter police said.

Seventeen invited friends and relatives, including Merhige, were packed into the home at 104 Via Veracruz, near Military Trail and Indiantown Road.

"It was discovered the suspect did in fact have ongoing resentment toward several family members within the residence," police said in a release. "At some point, the suspect exited the residence and returned a short time later. As he stood inside the residence, he began shooting the victims without warning."

Police said Merhige killed the child and the sisters and aunt Raymonde Joseph, and injured Lisa Merhige's husband, Patrick Knight, 37, and a cousin, Clifford Gebara, 52.

There's no immediate word on the condition of the two injured men, who both are at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

A man who looked like Merhige drove toward the Sitton home about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, said Carole Turano, a neighbor who was walking her dog.

"He looked confused. We saw him drive up to the house. I recognized the photo when I saw him on television," Turano said.

Merhige, who lives in the Kendall area southwest of Miami, fled in a blue 4-door Toyota with Florida tag W42 7JT, police said.

State records show he had only one arrest, for misdemeanor disorderly conduct in Miami-Dade County in 1998, and underwent pretrial diversion.

Police have not determined how many shots were fired Thursday night.

"We have determined it was a handgun by the shell casings," Jupiter Police Spokesman Scott Pascarella said.

"I heard three quick shots. Shortly after, I heard the police cars and the helicopters," said Vera Armstrong, who was house-sitting for her daughter about three houses away from the salmon-colored, barrel-tiled Sitton home. "I called my daughter and she said, 'Oh no, don't tell me it was Makayla.'"

This morning, authorities began to gather evidence inside the home after waiting most the night for a search warrant.

Jupiter police had raced to the home just after 10 p.m. after getting numerous 911 calls, Pascarella said.

The first call to 911 came from neighbors who heard gunfire, the second from within the home.

"Then we heard all the helicopters," said neighbor Fran Labossiere, referring to the Trauma Hawk aircraft that delivered the victims to St. Mary's. "And all the police cars. It was scary."

The Red Cross' disaster team will provide lodging for the family through the weekend. The organization got the call at 2 a.m. and representatives were on site until 8 a.m.

"The family was tired and cold and couldn't go back home," said Anne Kazel-Wilcox, of the Red Cross. "Everyone was shaken up."

Sitton and his wife Muriel, 48, were not shot.

He is a winner of several Emmy awards, including one collected with Muriel, then a Channel 5 producer, in 1995. The two married in 2000 at The Breakers in Palm Beach. Wednesday was their ninth wedding anniversary.

"All of us here at WPTV are stunned and saddened," WPTV vice president and general manager Steve Wasserman said in a statement posted on the station's website. "Jim Sitton is a much beloved member of our news team."

Neighbors recalled a wide-eyed, polite young girl who loved dogs. Her parents recently bought her a King Charles Spaniel named Abby. Makayla was set to perform today in The Nutcracker at the Eissey Campus Theater at Palm Beach Community College's Palm Beach Gardens campus.

"She loved ballet. She was so thrilled because this was the first time she was able to participate in The Nutcracker," said Colleen Smith, artistic director of the Classical Ballet Theater.

"She was a delightful little girl. She was luminous," Smith said. "She never complained and always said, 'Thank you.' Makalya was always smiling and tried to make the other children feel better. She was such a dear child."

Jackie Feldman, who lives in the neighborhood of new, well-trimmed homes near Jupiter High School, said, "I just talked to her two days ago. When we moved here two years ago, Makayla and her parents came right over to welcome us. What a wonderful family."

Feldman said the little girl was home-schooled. She said the families often talked, particularly about their daughters who were close in age and their dogs, who shared a given name: Abby.

"I don't understand how a person could shoot a little girl while she was lying in her bed," Feldman asked this morning. "What could possibly be so wrong in your life that you would do that?"

Palm Beach Post staff writers Sonja Isger, Kevin D. Thompson and John Lantigua, and staff researcher Niels Heimeriks, contributed to this story.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:42 pm

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Here is an interview with the father of the little 6 year old who was killed. What a doll baby she was!

This is horrific. Was the guy on drugs, drunk, what? I have confidence they w/find him but it will not bring them back! crying

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:34 pm

Suspected killer of four in Jupiter shooting was a top scholar, athlete

By Bill Dipaolo and Eliot Kleinberg
Updated: 3:16 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, 2009

JUPITER — Federal marshals and law enforcement officers from Jupiter to southern Miami-Dade County are searching today for Michael Merhige, the 35-year-old Miami-area man police believe shattered a family Thanksgiving dinner in Jupiter.

Merhige fatally shot his twin sisters and his 76-year-old aunt, and injured two other relatives, and killed a 6-year-old relative as she slept in her bed.

"God packed a lot of sweetness into that little body," Jim Sitton, shaken and ashen, told reporters this morning.

The photographer for WPTV-TV Channel 5 found himself on the other side of the camera in the worst way.

Merhige, the cousin of his wife Muriel killed his own twin sisters and Muriel's mother.

And Makayla, the Sittons' only child.

Merhige, who as a Miami-area teen had been a top scholar and athlete at the prestigious Gulliver Preparatory School, is believed armed and dangerous, Jupiter police said.

Seventeen invited friends and relatives, including Merhige, were packed into the home at 104 Via Veracruz, near Military Trail and Indiantown Road.

Merhige had had some issues with his relatives, but "the problems could not have been that bad because they invited him over for dinner," Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow said this afternoon.

"It was discovered the suspect did in fact have on-going resentment toward several family members within the residence," police said in a release. "At some point, the suspect exited the residence and returned a short time later. As he stood inside the residence, he began shooting the victims without warning."

Police said Merhige killed the child, sisters Lisa Knight — who was pregnant — and Carla Merhige, both 33, and aunt Raymonde Joseph.

He injured Lisa Merhige's husband, Patrick Knight, 37, a lawyer and motivatinal speaker, and a cousin, Clifford Gebara, 52 .

Knight went to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach in critical condition and was upgraded to stable condition this afternoon, police said.

Gebara was treated at the hospital and released.

"God be with us and our family and friends," relative Beth Knight posted on her Facebook account from the Chicago area. Keep my brother-in-law in your prayers as he is fighting for his life right now. God be with us!"

A man who looked like Merhige drove toward the Sitton home about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, said Carole Turano, a neighbor who was walking her dog.

"He looked confused. We saw him drive up to the house. I recognized the photo when I saw him on television," Turano said.

Merhige, who lives in the Kendall area southwest of Miami, fled in a blue 4-door Toyota with Florida tag W42 7JT, police said.

State records show he had only one arrest, for misdemeanor disorderly conduct in Miami-Dade County in 1998, and underwent pretrial diversion.

Police have not determined how many shots were fired Thursday night.

"We have determined it was a handgun by the shell casings," Jupiter Police Spokesman Scott Pascarella said.

"I heard three quick shots. Shortly after, I heard the police cars and the helicopters," said Vera Armstrong, who was house-sitting for her daughter about three houses away from the salmon-colored, barrel-tiled Sitton home. "I called my daughter and she said, 'Oh no, don't tell me it was Makayla.'"

This morning, authorities began to gather evidence inside the home after waiting most the night for a search warrant.

Jupiter police had raced to the home just after 10 p.m. after getting numerous 911 calls, Pascarella said.

Because the case still is fluid, Kitzerow, the police chief, would not describe the 911 calls, and would not describe the condition of the home or detail what police might have learned about the moments surrounding the shooting.

The first call to 911 came from neighbors who heard gunfire, the second from within the home.

"Then we heard all the helicopters," said neighbor Fran Labossiere, referring to the Trauma Hawk aircraft that delivered the victims to St. Mary's. "And all the police cars. It was scary."

The Red Cross' disaster team will provide lodging for the family through the weekend. The organization got the call at 2 a.m. and representatives were on site until 8 a.m.

"The family was tired and cold and couldn't go back home," said Anne Kazel-Wilcox, of the Red Cross. "Everyone was shaken up."

Staff writers Sonja Isger, Kevin D. Thompson and John Lantigua, staff researcher Niels Heimeriks, and staff database editor Christine Stapleton contributed to this story.

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I also just heard on HLN that one of the twins was pregnant. How horrific!!!!!!!

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:50 am

Nutcracker debut turns into eulogy for slain 6-year-old girl

By Bill Dipaolo, Kevin D. Thompson and Eliot Kleinberg
Updated: 11:28 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, 2009

Today was supposed to be a special day for Makayla Sitton.



(Please click here for slideshow of this sweet little girl who was sleeping when shot)
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The wide-eyed, 6-year-old girl was going to perform in The Nutcracker at the Eissey Campus Theatre at Palm Beach Community College's Palm Beach Gardens campus.

She couldn't wait.

"Makayla loved ballet," said Colleen Smith, artistic director of the Florida Classical Ballet Theatre. "She was so thrilled because this was the first time she was able to participate in The Nutcracker."

Makayla was to be one of Mother Ginger's children.

But instead of performing, little Makayla was briefly eulogized.

About an hour before the show began, Smith led a 60-second prayer service with the cast, which held hands. Minutes before the curtain was raised, Smith spoke to the audience, praising Makayla and saying she's now safe in heaven "in the arms of the wonderful King of Kings."

She called Makayla's murder "the worst tragedy that ever happened at our school."

Smith also held a brief private meeting with parents, many of whom were still in shock over Makalya's death.

"She was a beautiful child inside and out," said Charlotte Murray, a dance teacher. "She was a joyful child, very loving and it showed in her dance. She was one of the kindest girls I ever met."

Piper Crisafi, of North Palm Beach, said her 7-year-old daughter was good friends with Makayla.

"Whenever I picked my daughter up, I'd ask her, 'Who'd you play with?' And she'd say, 'Makayla,'" Crisafi said. "I was glad my daughter got to have a friend like that."

Neighbors in the Jupiter street where little Makayla was killed recalled a polite young girl who loved dogs. Her parents, Muriel and Jim Sitton, recently bought her a King Charles Spaniel named Abby.

Jackie Feldman, who lives in the neighborhood of new, well-trimmed homes near Jupiter High School, said the little girl was home-schooled. She said the families often talked, particularly about their daughters who were close in age and their dogs, who shared the name Abby.

"I don't understand how a person could shoot a little girl while she was lying in her bed," Feldman said. "What could possibly be so wrong in your life that you would do that?"

Smith said Makayla will always be fondly remembered.

"She was a delightful little girl. She was luminous," Smith said. "Makalya was always smiling and tried to make the other children feel better. She was such a dear child."

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:02 am

Thanksgiving dinner leads to murder: four dead, one injured and manhunt for killer (video)

November 27, 5:17 PM
Tampa Crime Examiner Charisse Van Horn

A Thanksgiving dinner lead to murder in Jupiter, Florida yesterday. Three women and one child Paul Michael Merhigewere shot to death and the man who fired the weapon is on the loose.

According to police reports, 17 family members were at the home when gun shots were fired at approximately 10:00 p.m. Paul Michael Merhige is 35 years old and accused of killing four family members, including his six year old cousin, Makayla Sitton who was asleep in bed. Merhige is also accused of killing his twin sisters, Carla and Lisa Merhige, 33, and his aunt, Raymonde Joseph who was 76 years old. Paul Michael Merhige is accused of going on a shooting rampage that killed the four family members and injured his brother-in –law Patrick McKnight.


Jupiter Police Sgt. Scott Pacarella told reporters that Merhige is resentful and at one point left the Thanksgiving dinner before returning later with the gun and executing his bloody rampage. The youngest victim, 6 year old Makayla Sitton is the daughter of a WPTV photojournalist, Jim Sitton. WPTV News has set up a tribute site to their co-worker’s daughter where messages may be left. Click here for a slideshow of Makayla Sitton with her parents. Makayla's parents were in the home at the time of the rampage but were not injured. Reports state that Patrick McKnight was taken to a hospital but his condition has not been made public.


Lisa Merhige, one of Paul’s twin sisters was pregnant, though police have not released how far along she is.


Police are currently searching for Paul Michael Merhige and those in the Tampa Bay area and all of Florida should be on the lookout for him. He is considered to be armed and dangerous. He is driving a blue 2007 4-door Toyota Camry with the Florida license plate: W427JT.

Please click here for press conference:

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:08 pm

Bringing these posts here: These were posted by BJ:

Murders at Thanksgiving Gathering in Jupiter, Florida/ Police searching for the suspect

Post by BJ in OR Today at 12:15
Local Newsman's Daughter Murdered at Thanksgiving Gathering

For those who work in TV news, especially the reporters and photographers who hit the streets covering their cities, there is often a desensitization to the events they cover. But for one photojournalist from the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, the news hit home in the most overwhelming and tragic way Thursday night when his 6-year-old daughter was murdered in her bed. Makayla Sitton was one of four family members killed by a disgruntled relative during a Thanksgiving gathering.

Longtime WPTV photojournalist Jim Sitton hosted Thanksgiving dinner at his home in Jupiter, FL. Seventeen family members attended, including the suspect, who left the dinner only to return, armed with a handgun.

35-year-old Paul Michael Merhige is accused of killing Makayla, his aunt 76-year-old Raymonde Joseph, and his twin sisters Carla Merhige and Lisa Knight, who was pregnant. A fifth victim, Lisa's husband Patrick Knight was shot and is being treated at a hospital.

Yesterday, Jim Sitton mustered the courage and spoke to his station, and others, about his daughter, Makayla.

"I just want to let everyone know that she's in heaven," said Sitton. "We know where she is, and that's the only reason I can stand here today. God has blessed us with a beautiful little girl and he just took her home."

Police are still searching for the suspect.

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Michigan police warned as manhunt continues

Post by BJ in OR Today at 12:18
Authorities in Michigan have been alerted in the search for a Florida man accused of fatally shooting four relatives on Thanksgiving.

Police in Birmingham, Mich., have been told that Paul Merhige had sought help from a Detroit-area physician in the past year. A police official in Jupiter, Fla., says he doesn't know why Merhige had been in touch with the doctor.

The 35-year-old is accused of killing his pregnant sister, her twin sister, an elderly aunt and a 6-year-old cousin.

Authorities say 17 people were gathered in the home in Jupiter, Fla., on Thursday when the shootings occurred. The town is about 90 miles north of Miami and is known as a home to celebrities such as Michael Jordan and Burt Reynolds.

Merhige is believed to be driving a blue 2007 Toyota Camry.

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Normal Father honors daughter's memory

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:15 pm

Please grab a hanky before you read this.

Father honors daughter's memory
Reported by: WPTV staff
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Last Update: 4:48 pm
Father honors memory of slain daughter,recounts tragedy



JUPITER, FL--The father of the youngest victim of Thursday's killing spree at a Thanksgiving party spent time Saturday morning reflecting on his daughter's life as well as the events that transpired the night of the tragedy.

6 year old Makayla Sitton died of gunshot wounds at the hands of suspected gunman Paul MIchael Merhige.

Makayla is the daughter of WPTV photojournalist Jim Sitton and his wife, Muriel.

Sitton spoke outside of his home where the police investigation continues.

"We know where our little girl is and we know who she's with, and if not for that I'd be just a lump on the ground, I wouldn't be able to function. That's the main reason I'm here, to honor her, to testify. I've heard the last couple of days people angry saying God , she loved God so much and God abandoned her. God didn't abandon her, he's not abandoning us. He blessed us. When you cross the finish line it's a joyous celebration, it's not the end it's the beginning of victory and the amazing thing is she was allowed to cross the finish line with an entourage. I mean, who gets to cross the line with your grandmother? That's a blessing. It's really helped us to know that my wife, she lost her mother and our baby, and keep her in your prayers. I don't know how she's going to recover from that."

"Every time my phone rings it's her singing Happy Birthday Jesus. There's just so many memories. The night, just hours before she died she recited Psalm 100, the whole chapter, and she was kind of preaching to our whole family about Thanksgiving and giving thanks. When someone gives you a gift and you feel gratitude, she said that's 'Thanks Feeling.' It's not Thanksgiving until you thank the person and in this case that's what I'm doing, I'm thanking God... so I'm honoring her by doing what she asked us to do to actually give thanks."

When asked about the alleged gunman Sitton said, "I haven't seen him in like 15 years, he had his issues in the past and when I heard 'Oh Paul's coming,' I thought 'Okay, I haven't heard any bad stuff in 5 or 10 years,' and I thought 'maybe he's getting better,' and a red flag did not go off. He sat two people down from me I talked to him, there were no red flags he wasn't moody, it was just completely out of the blue. The way I understand it he is evil and darkness hates the light and he saw the light from the twins singing Via Dolorosa and we were praising God and thanking God for Thanksgiving and my little girl was preaching."

"I learned yesterday that... Paul told my father-in-law 'I've been waiting 18 years to do this, or 20 years to do this.' He meant he's been waiting 20 years to to kill his family."

Also killed in the shooting were Raymonde Joseph, 76, Carla Merhige and Lisa Knight, who was pregnant. Two others were injured.

"When the shooting started we all ran out the back and I thought he was chasing us. I felt like I was leading evil away from my daughter and I didn't know that he didn't chase. He killed my mother-in-law and... I went around the house and began banging on my little girl's window. I was trying to break the window to get her out and that's when he walked down the hall and.. this monster walked into my daughter's room, in the dark she was asleep. He shot her point blank in the head, shot her point blank in the heart and a couple of other places... who does this? I've been shooting (photographing) news for 25 years and I've never seen a baby executed like this... it's just pure evil, darkness hates light and he tried to snuff it out but what man needs for evil God uses for good my baby's in heaven, she just beat me there. It's not supposed to happen...for them to beat you there you are supposed to get there first. But I guess God sets the rules you're supposed to follow them."

"My father-in-law is a retired physician he worked on her. We didn't give up, the paramedics didn't give up Trauma Hawk didn't give up, they worked on her all the way to the hospital."

"We went to St. Mary's to see her... even in death she's beautiful. I couldn't believe that. Her hair covered the gunshot wound. I put my hand on her head so my wife couldn't see the wound so her face was just beautiful."

Before Makayla went to sleep that night Jim said he shared a special moment with this daughter. "Usually whenever we have a lot of guests over I let my wife put... my baby to bed because... I'm being the host."

But on this night he had an urge to give her a kiss. "I was just telling her 'I love her... what an honor it is to be her dad,' and we had a tender moment and I kissed her goodnight. I put her to sleep and she woke up with Jesus."

"Be praying for my wife Muriel, she lost her mom and her baby, it's her whole world. She asked me, 'When you go back to work what am I supposed to do?' She's a home-school mom... it's her whole life... I don't know how she's going to recover. I just love her. I can't do anything for her."

Jim and his family have been extremely thankful for the support they have received. "Everyone has been incredible, our church Calvary Chapel Palm City, everyone from the police to the media. Everyone has been highly respectful. I know those phone calls are hard to make but we do appreciate them. I thank everybody."

Speaking of his daughter again Jim said, "God packed in a whole lifetime into 6 years. He knew she wouldn't be long for this earth so He packed it in pretty tight. She was incredible. I love her. She still is incredible." crying

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:17 pm

Paul Michael Merhige, Suspect in Thanksgiving Day Murder in Jupiter, FL … 4 Relatives Dead Including 6 Year Old

Posted on November 28, 2009.

Thanksgiving Day Massacre …

Three woman and a six year old child were murdered as they were shot to death at a Thanksgiving Day gathering in Jupiter, FL. According to reports, there were 17 relatives in the Jupiter residence when the shootings occurred. Paul Michael Merhige returned to the residence at 104 Via Veracruz in Jupiter, Fl at 10 pm Thanksgiving night and started shooting.

Paul Michael Merhige_killer

Manhunt on for Paul Michael Merhige, killed 4 on Thanksgiving Day

Police are looking for 35 year old Paul Michael Merhige of Miami as the suspect in the multiple murders. The man hunt is on for Merhige who is believed to be driving a 4-door blue 2007 Toyota Camry with Florida license plate W42 7JT. He is to be considered armed and dangerous. The shooting victims are being reported as Paul Michael Merhige’s twin sisters, Carla Merhige and Lisa Knight, 33, his 76 year old aunt Raymonde Joseph and his 6 year old cousin Makayla Sitton. Paul Michael Merhige shot the 6 year old while she was sleeping. Who shoots a sleeping, innocent 6 year old child?

Merhige_youngest killed

6 year old Makayla Sitton murdered

Authorities said a fifth victim, Merhige’s brother-in-law Patrick Knight, was being treated at a hospital. His condition was not available. Another man, Clifford Gebara, 52, was grazed by a bullet and was treated by paramedics on the scene and released.

Police across South Florida and the U.S. Marshals Service were searching for Merhige. Pascarella said Merhige is believed to be driving a blue 2007 4-door Toyota Camry with Florida license plate W42 7JT.

According to reports, it was not sure what lead to the shooting incident as Jupiter Police Sgt. Scott Pascarella stated, “It did not appear there was any altercation prior to this shooting,” but there was an “ongoing resentment” in the family, but didn’t know the nature of the problem or whether the victims were specifically targeted.

Police said the home was owned by Jim Sitton, a photo-journalist for WPTV-TV and father of the little girl killed. Sitton told WPTV his daughter was in bed when she was shot. He was at the party at the time of the shooting but was not wounded.

Yellow crime scene tape was stretched around Sitton’s salmon-colored house, located in a well-kept subdivision of stucco homes. Several cars were parked in the driveway, and a crime scene van sat in front.

Sitton told local media that his daughter was supposed to perform Friday in a holiday production of “The Nutcracker.”

“God packed a lot of sweetness into that little body,” Sitton said. “She’s just our life. I don’t know how we are ever going to recover.”

The relationship between Sitton and Paul Merhige was unclear, police said.

As stated above according to Jupiter Police Sgt. Scott Pascarella, there was an on going resentment toward family members. Paul Michael Merhige left the residence and then returned and started shooting.

“We know the suspect had an ongoing resentment toward family members and at some point in the evening left the residence for a short period of time, then returned and started shooting without warning,” Police Sgt. Scott Pascarella told ABCNews.com.

VIDEO via CNN (it is a gut wrenching video of the dad, Jim Sitton talking about the death of his little girl)

UPDATE I: Paul Michael Merhige had history of mental problems

According to a report from The Miami Herald, Paul Michael Merhige had a history of mental problems and suicide attempts, according to a handyman who worked for his family. Paul Michael Merhige referred to as a “very conflicted person.”

No Florida public records indicate Merhige has been involuntarily committed.

Under Florida law, anyone with a history of being involuntarily committed to a mental institution, or judged incompetent or mentally defective, from obtaining a firearm permit.

But the law is silent about people voluntarily treated for mental illness.

With the nature of this crime, the charges that Merhige faces and his reported past mental issues included alleged suicide attempts, it is hard to believe that this case will not end with the suspect being found having finally successfully achieving suicide.

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I just heard on HLN there is now a $10,000 reward on his head. This is a horrible crime. At least that poor little girl had no clue what hit her. She was asleep!

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Normal Michigan authorities told to beware of Florida shooting suspect

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:10 am

Michigan authorities told to beware of Florida shooting suspect
November 30, 2009 4:05 p.m. EST
Detectives are looking for Paul Michael Merhige, 35, in connection with fatal shootings in Jupiter, Florida.

* Police are still looking for the man accused of fatally shooting 4 relatives on Thanksgiving day
* Authorities in suburban Detroit have been alerted to look out for the suspect, Paul M. Merhige
* Merhige, 35, has sought treatment from a Michigan doctor within the past year, police say

(CNN) -- Authorities in suburban Detroit have been alerted to be on the lookout for the suspect in a Thanksgiving day shooting that killed four people in Jupiter, Florida, officials said Monday.

"Any time we uncover anything about the suspect's past, we have an obligation to alert authorities in that area," said Jupiter Police Department public information officer Scott Pascarella, talking about Paul M. Merhige.

Within the past year, Merhige, 35, had sought treatment from a doctor at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Pascarella said. He did not know the doctor's name or specialty, and he downplayed the magnitude of the risk.

"We don't have anything specific that says he is in fact heading to Michigan," he said.

A spokeswoman for the hospital, Nancy Dumas, said she was not aware of the link. Farmington Hills is located northwest of Detroit.

The doctor lives in nearby Birmingham, officials said.

"We've talked to the doctor and taken some precautionary measures, but there's nothing to indicate that he's coming to Birmingham or the state," Birmingham Police Chief Richard Patterson told CNN on Monday. "Apparently, they had developed some information a day after the homicide from either the family members or from a psychologist or psychiatrist that he was out to get everybody who ever touched his life."

He would not identify the doctor who treated Merhige, saying only that he was neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist.

Authorities in the Florida coastal town of Jupiter issued an arrest warrant Saturday for Merhige, who is suspected in the shooting deaths, which included his twin sisters.

A prayer vigil for friends and family of the twin sisters is to be held Monday night at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Miami, a man who answered the phone there told CNN.

"They were faithful churchgoers," church member Al Maloof told CNN affiliate WSVN on Saturday. "The whole community is devastated over this, totally devastated."

Merhige faces four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office said in a statement. The U.S. Marshals Service has joined the search for Merhige, and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

The shooting victims include Merhige's 6-year-old cousin, Makayla Sitton; his 33-year-old twin sisters, Carla Merhige and Lisa Knight; and 76-year-old Raymond Joseph, police said.

Two others -- Patrick Knight and Clifford Gebara -- were wounded, police said.

Interviews with family members suggest that Merhige "had ongoing resentment" for some of his relatives, said Sally Collins-Ortiz, a spokeswoman for Jupiter police.

The shootings, which occurred about 10 p.m. Thursday after Thanksgiving dinner, came without warning, said Jim Sitton, who was two seats from Merhige at the time.

"It was completely out of the blue," he told CNN affiliate WPTV on Friday. "He's evil."

Sitton said he ran from his house, hoping to draw Merhige in pursuit and away from the others.

But his plan didn't work.

"This monster walked into my daughter's room in the dark -- she was asleep," said Sitton, referring to Makayla. "He shot her point blank in the head, point blank in the heart and a couple of other places. Who does this? I've been a news photographer for 25 years; I've never seen a baby executed like this. It's just pure evil."

He told CNN affiliate WPTV on Friday that, prior to the shootings, he had just put his daughter to bed. "We had a tender moment and I kissed her goodnight," he said. "I put her to sleep and she woke up with Jesus."

Merhige is thought to have escaped in a blue 2007 Toyota Camry with Florida license plate number W42 7JT, police said.

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Normal Restraining order had been requested

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:56 am

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Restraining order had been requested
Miami-Dade court records show that Carla Merhige withdrew a restraining order against her brother in 2006, but she had claimed he had threatened to kill her.
BY ADAM H. BEASLEY
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As Palm Beach County authorities continued their search for Paul Merhige, the Miami man accused of killing four relatives on Thanksgiving, court records show that the suspected killer had a troubled relationship with one of his slain sisters.

In 2006, Carla Merhige, Paul Merhige's younger sister, so feared her brother could turn violent that she went to court to ask a Miami-Dade judge to keep him away from her.

In her request for a restraining order against him, Carla Merhige claimed that her brother had threatened to kill her -- as well as himself -- and refused to take medication for an unnamed mental illness.

Carla Merhige, quoting her brother, said he stood in her face, telling her, ``I'm going to slit your throat,'' and ``this time I'm not going to go by myself (referring to a recent suicide attempt),'' according to court documents. She said the threats happened on a ``regular basis'' and sought the court's help to ``prevent further incidents of violence and harassment.''

Despite her fears, Carla Merhige voluntarily withdrew her request for a restraining order on May 12, 2006 -- just three weeks after filing it.

Eight years earlier, Paul Merhige had sought protection from law enforcement authorities after he accused his sister of trying to kill him. He dropped the request about five weeks later.

At the time, Paul Merhige alleged that Carla had told him, ``If I had the chance to get away with it, I'll kill you [sic].''

Paul Merhige claimed that his sister broke his bedroom door down, began screaming at him and spit in his face before wrestling him to the floor. He said he was being treated for ``obsessive compulsive disorders'' and that Carla and other family members ``were aware of his treatment, but would purposely harass him, contradicting the doctor's orders.''

He claimed family members wanted him ``to get worse and not overcome his illness.''

In Palm Beach County, authorities have not disclosed a specific motive in the Thanksgiving Day shootings.

Paul Merhige is being sought as a fugitive on four counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Carla, 33, her twin sister Lisa Knight, and two other relatives, including a 6-year-old girl. The shooting deaths took place Thursday night at a family home in Jupiter, where more than a dozen relatives had gathered for Thanksgiving.

He was last seen driving a blue 2007 Toyota Camry with the Florida license plate W42 7JT. Authorities have been searching for him in Florida and Michigan.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:40 am

Police continue to search for suspect in Thanksgiving killings

MIAMI (WSVN) -- Miami police are searching for the man suspected of fatally shooting four relatives on Thanksgiving in Jupiter.

"I recognized him from the papers or TV, it looked like him," said Justin Pellegrino.

Pellegrino told police he believes he walked side by side with the accused killer, who's been doging police since Thursday night. Police said Paul Michael Merhige shot six of his family members at home during Thanksgiving dinner, killing four of them.

Miami police and the US Marshals scoured the Double Tree Grand Hotel and Condos at 1717 Bayshore Drive Wednesday night after they recieved calls about a man that fit the description Merhige.

Pellegrino said he even tried talking with the man he suspected was 35-year-old Merhige. "He just mumbled a couple of words, didn't really understand what he said. I asked him, 'Are you all right,' he's like yeah."

The search turned up nothing. Then another call reported a sighting at the condos at 1198 Venetian Way in Miami. Police didn't find Merhige there either. "We're confident in what our agency is doing in conjunction with the resources what that the US Marshals have extended to us, that he will be apprehended," said Jupiter Police Sgt. Scott Pascarella.

Wednesday afternoon, Jupiter Police released three photographs Merhige obtained from an ATM in Miami, on Nov. 22, several days before the shooting last Sunday. Police noted that in the photographs, the suspect's receding hairline is quite apparent and shows him to have a heavy build.

Police said, Merhige shot and killed his young cousin, 6-year-old Makayla Sitton, his sisters Carla Merhige and her pregnant twin, Lisa Knight, as well as his 76-year-old aunt along with two other members of his family members, who would survive.

Divers are continuing to search a nearby lake for the murder weapons. A bridge over the lake below the bridge would have been the killer's only escape route. They hope to find one or more of the guns the killer may have used in his rampage. Despite his history of mental illness and the death threats he had been known to deliver to his family, Merhige legally owned three guns.

On Monday, Police released the chilling 911 calls made moments after the shooting. As people wailed in anguish in the background of the recording, "Oh, please," the operator asked for information, "Did somebody get shot? Is somebody shot?"

A man on the other line responded, "He shot multiple people."

"Did you see the gun?"

"I didn't see the gun, but I saw the blood."

Then, later that night, a candlelight procession was held for the two sisters at Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Church in Coral Gables, the place the twin sisters worshipped for many years. "We know the girls for over 12 years," said one of the mourning parishioners. "They were very active in the church."

Their brother still remains at large. He was last seen driving a royal blue 2007 Toyota Camry with a rear spoiler and Florida license plate W42 7JT.

Police consider him armed and dangerous. If you know anything about his whereabouts, please call Palm Beach Police Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS. Or you can call your local Crime Stoppers wherever you are. The reward in this case is worth $10,000.

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Is it just me?? I don't understand why this thread hasn't gotten more atttention. This is a horrible, heinous crime that was committed. I ask that you all please read this if you have not already!! Thanks so much!

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by CritterFan1 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:36 am

Why the 6 year old that was sleeping, why? I don't get why these evil monsters have to make this huge splash and take other innocent people with them. Just go ahead and kill your self, leave the innocents alone. One of the twin sisters was expecting a baby. So add that to the victim list.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:32 pm

Exactly. This is a horrific crime and this man is still out there. It's been one week and he has not been found. Very scary!!

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:10 pm

I was in hopes when I saw new post he had been found. I need to plaster his face on our home page.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:12 pm

lindamarie wrote:I was in hopes when I saw new post he had been found. I need to plaster his face on our home page.
Great idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is one scary, crazy man. The way in which he killed his niece is literally unbearable to think about! crying

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Normal The reward in the Thanksgiving Day Murders is now $25,000.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:06 pm

Friday, December 04, 2009
Feds search for suspect in Thanksgiving murders

Paul Michael Merhige is suspected of killing four relatives at a Thanksgiving dinner in Jupiter, Fla., and has successfully avoided authorities for the past week. Now, the U.S. marshals are joining the search for Merhige, who could be anywhere in the country. Snip from the Miami Herald:


Images made from surveillance camera at a Miami, Fla. ATM and provided by the Jupiter, Fla. Police Dept. shows suspect Paul Michael Merhige on Nov. 22 2009. Merhige is accused of shooting four relatives to death after Thanksgiving dinner in South Florida. Police said Paul Michael Merhige shot his pregnant sister, her twin sister, his 6-year-old cousin and 79-year-old aunt.

Merhige, 35, indicated he had a history of mental problems and a ``strong resentment toward several family members,'' according to the marshals website.

Merhige, the marshals said, planned his escape and took pains to avoid law enforcement detection.

The reward in the case is now $25,000.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by CritterFan1 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:40 pm

Tragic tragic. This poor family.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:21 pm

Reward reaches $35,000 for family shooting suspect

The Associated Press

JUPITER, Fla. -- The FBI is now involved in the search for a suspect in the fatal Thanksgiving Day shootings of four of his relatives, according to documents filed Friday in federal court in West Palm Beach.

The filing indicates the FBI has joined the Jupiter Police Department and the U.S. Marshal's Service in the manhunt because prosecutors believe he has fled the state. It also noted Paul Merhige had collected clothing and a computer hard drive, and withdrew "a large amount of cash" before the shootings.

According to the sworn statement by FBI task force agent Paul Bruno, Merhige "had travel funds available to him" and got his passport from his mother a week earlier.

Meanwhile, a reward for Merhige's arrest has been increased to $35,000.

The Jupiter Police Department said Friday that a local business donated $10,000, adding to the $25,000 already offered. The business asked to remain anonymous. Police also released surveillance video of the suspect at a South Florida gun shop the day before the shootings.

Police say Paul Merhige killed his aunt, his twin sisters, one of whom was pregnant, and a 6-year-old girl at a home where 16 relatives gathered for the holiday in Jupiter, about 90 miles north of Miami.

Prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:24 pm

This horrific crime has really gotten to me. I cannot fathom WHY this family member would do this to his own family..and his poor little 6 year old niece who is peacefully sleeping. I cannot get this case out of my head. crying

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by CritterFan1 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:24 pm

The six year old kill just tears me up, there was no excuse for that, no reason to be that evil. An innocent asleep in her bed. crying
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:30 pm

And, right in front of her father. That is what really gets me. OMG, it's unthinkable!

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Normal Suspect in Jupiter Thanksgiving murders visited gun shop before shootings

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:49 pm

Authorities think Paul Michael Merhige has left the state


JUPITER - A man accused of shooting and killing four family members at a Thanksgiving dinner apparently moved out of his Miami house and likely has fled the state, according to documents filed Friday in federal court.

As a result, the FBI has joined Jupiter Police and the U.S. Marshals Service in the search for Paul Michael Merhige, 35, the documents show.

Merhige gathered up clothing and a computer hard drive and withdrew "a large amount of cash" ahead of the Nov. 26 shootings, according to a sworn statement by FBI task force agent Paul Bruno.

Bruno said in his statement that Merhige "had travel funds available to him" and noted that Merhige got his passport from his mother a week before the shootings.

After Thanksgiving dinner at a family member's Jupiter home, Merhige pulled a gun and shot six relatives, killing four. Among the dead were a 6-year-old girl, her 76-year-old grandmother and Merhige's two sisters, one of whom was pregnant, police said.

State Attorney Michael McAuliffe on Thursday requested the FBI's help under the federal unlawful flight to avoid prosecution statute, citing evidence that Merhige has fled the state.

McAuliffe agreed that Florida will extradite and prosecute Merhige if he's caught outside the state, Bruno said.

Details that police say outline Merhige's careful preparation for the attack have emerged bit by bit during the past week.

A day before the rampage, Merhige stopped at a South Florida gun shop, police said. Security camera footage made public Friday shows Merhige standing at a gun counter, chatting casually with a clerk.

Police wouldn't say whether Merhige bought a gun during the visit and refused to identify the gun shop.

As authorities continued their search, a Jupiter business early Friday offered an additional $10,000 for information on the fugitive, raising the reward in the case to $35,000.

Police declined to identify the company, which asked to remain anonymous, said Sgt. Scott Pascarella, agency spokesman.

Merhige was last seen driving a royal blue, 2007 Toyota Camry sedan with a rear factory spoiler.

"He is considered armed and dangerous," a police statement said.

Despite a nationwide manhunt, there have been no confirmed sightings of Merhige since the night of the shootings.

The search has extended from Miami-Dade County to Michigan and already has included two false alarms; the latest happened Wednesday night at a downtown Miami condo.

On Thursday, marshals posted on their Web site a psychological profile of Merhige, describing him as possibly effeminate or homosexual and cataloging his health ailments.

His prescription medications include pills for bipolar disorder, anxiety and high-blood pressure.

Dr. Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist and criminologist who testified in the trials of Jeffrey Dahmer, Susan Smith and others, said people who run from the law after violent crimes are at a high risk of suicide, and especially "suicide by cop."

As authorities searched for Merhige, his family continued preparing for a public funeral for Makayla Sitton, 6, and her 76-year-old grandmother Ramonde Joseph, who both were shot to death on Thanksgiving.

Anyone with information about Merhige can call Jupiter police at 561-746-6201 or Crime Stoppers at 800-458-8477.

video of Merhige in gun shop here:

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:39 am

This horrific case and the case of Somer Thompson will be featured on Saturday night on America's Most Wanted, 9PM EST.

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Normal Hundreds Pay Respects To Thanksgiving Massacre Victims Youngest Victim, Suspect's Aunt Laid To Rest

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:40 am

Hundreds Pay Respects To Thanksgiving Massacre Victims
Youngest Victim, Suspect's Aunt Laid To Rest

POSTED: 7:03 am CST December 6, 2009
UPDATED: 7:13 am CST December 6, 2009

JUPITER, Fla. -- Hundreds of mourners packed Jupiter Community High School in Florida on Saturday to pay tribute to two of the victims of a Thanksgiving massacre.

The youngest of the victims, Makayla Joseph -- who would have celebrated her seventh birthday Sunday -- and her grandmother, Raymonde Joseph, were laid to rest following a public memorial service at the school.

Jim Sitton, Makayla's father, said he was happy to share his daughter with the masses during the service.

"I'm just so proud and honored to be your father," Sitton said, addressing his 6-year-old daughter who was shot as she slept in her bed.

Sitton was present at the Thanksgiving dinner when Paul Michael Merhige allegedly shot and killed four of his relatives, including Makayla.

"I said everything that I needed to say, and I know that I kissed her and put her to sleep and Jesus woke her up," Sitton said.

Merhige, 35, is wanted on four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He is accused of killing Joseph, his 79-year-old aunt; Makayla, his cousin; his pregnant sister, Carla Merhige; and her twin, Lisa Knight.

Pastor Larry Sarver comforted the family and mourners, saying the victims would never have to experience pain and suffering again and that they would see them again one day.

"You're going to hug your daughter again, she's going to hug you," Sarver said.

The memorial was held under heavy security as the suspected shooter is still at large. Some who attended the memorial said they worried about the family's safety.

Police cars guarded the entrance of the school and snipers were stationed on the roof. Uniformed guards stood by each entrance, and more authorities were waiting inside in case the suspect made an appearance.

A $35,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by CritterFan1 on Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:28 am

How sad, this poor father. What a horrible thing to happen to a family. It is almost too much to imagine.
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Normal The United States Marshals Service has designated Paul Michael Merhige as one of the top 15 most wanted fugitives

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:50 pm

JUPITER — The United States Marshals Service has designated Paul Michael Merhige as one of the top 15 most wanted fugitives, according to the Jupiter Police Department.

Sgt. Scott Pascarella released further information about Merhige, who is a suspect in the murder of four people at a Jupiter home on Thanksgiving night.

This information has been disseminated nationally and provides updated information concerning the suspect. Paul Michael Merhige has a large scar on his chest and is known to have the alias of Paul Mariage, Carlo Ribisi and Michael Manis. Jupiter police have confirmed Merhige did purchase four firearms in the month before the crime, including a Remington .308 rifle with a scope and bipod.

As a reminder, Paul Michael Merhige (W/M 09-10-74) was last seen operating a 2007 royal blue four-door Toyota Camry bearing Florida license plate W42-7JT. The vehicle has no tint on the windows and has a rear spoiler. He is considered armed and dangerous. Photos of the suspect are available at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and additional information on the characteristics of the suspect can be found at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

A $35,000 reward has been extended for anyone with information that leads to the apprehension of this suspect. If anyone has information concerning Paul Michael Merhige, please contact the Jupiter Police Department at (561) 746-6201, their local law enforcement agency or Crime Stoppers’ anonymous "TIP" phone number, 1-800-458-TIPS (8477).

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Normal Florida’s ‘Thanksgiving Day Killer’ will need prescription drugs to stay alive

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:23 pm

By Salim Jiwa

WASHINGTON – The so-called “Thanksgiving Day Killer” – Paul Michael Merhige, who is the only suspect in a Florida family massacre will not be able to survive without obtaining a doctor’s prescription for medications he needs.

The U.S. Marshals have added Merhige, wanted for the shooting murders of his twin sisters, one of whom was pregnant, his 79-year-old aunt, six-year-old cousin and the wounding of a brother-in-law and one other, to the 15 most wanted list of fugitives.

Merhige is accused of carrying out the massacre in Jupiter, Florida on Thanksgiving Day when he was invited for dinner. But, the Marshals say he had plans – and he bought weapons just a few days before the bloody carnage.

“Merhige was invited to, and attended a family Thanksgiving dinner in Jupiter on Nov. 26.,” said the Marshals office in a statement.

“After dinner, Merhige left the house for a short period of time. When Merhige re-entered the residence, he reportedly began shooting the family members without provocation. Merhige immediately fled the scene in his blue 2007 Toyota Camry.

“The callousness of Merhige’s calculated, vicious acts against his own family is unimaginable,” said John F. Clark, Director of the U.S. Marshals Service. “We are fully committed to locating and apprehending this fugitive and making him answer for these horrific crimes.

A Wanted Poster states: “Merhige harbors a strong resentment toward his family. Merhige is also known to have purchased four firearms in the month before the crime, including a Remington .308 rifle with a scope and bipod,”

A reward of $25,000 is available for his arrest.

The Marshals’ office said the suspect is addicted to Ativan and takes other drugs such as Chronumet, Seroquel and Atenolol.

“Based on Merhige’s background, the above prescribed medications cannot be substituted by over-the-counter medications and sudden or prolonged cessation of any of his prescribed medication can result in adverse side effects including seizures and death,” said the announcement placing him on the list of most wanted.

The presumption is that he will seek a prescription for these medications.

Merhige’s profile suggests, according to the Marshals office, that he is “overweight, borderline obese and non-athletic; may be homosexual and/or effeminate and may frequent homosexual establishments; receding hairline; known to fake or display certain symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, including frequent bathing, shaving and difficulty making decisions; known to fake or display certain symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome including insomnia.”

Merhige is a white male, five-foot-eight-inches tall, weighing 200 lbs. Merhige has an arrest warrant for four counts of first degree murder with a firearm (premeditated) and two counts of attempted first degree murder with a firearm (premeditated).

Merhige is considered to be armed and dangerous. If you have information about his whereabouts, contact your nearest U.S. Marshals office or call the Marshals 24-hour hotline at 1-800-336-0102.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:31 pm

So the reward went from 35,000 to 25,000? I can't believe they have not caught this man. Why did they reduce the reward?
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:41 pm

lindamarie wrote:So the reward went from 35,000 to 25,000? I can't believe they have not caught this man. Why did they reduce the reward?
Good question. I am pretty sure it is still $35K.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:16 pm

JUPITER — When America's Most Wanted interviewed Jupiter Police Detective Jason Vansteenburgh Friday morning, the highly rated show was interested in the Town of Jupiter and in the manhunt for Paul Merhige, accused of gunning down four members of his family on Thanksgiving night.

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"Homicide is very rare in Jupiter," said Vansteenburgh, who is the city's police liaison between the U. S. Marshals' Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force. "Also, we have had a manhunt for Merhige since Thanksgiving night, and are working both internationally and nationally to find him."

America's Most Wanted will lead with the Thanksgiving Day murders on their telecast Saturday night at 9 p.m. on Fox, and plan to air the in-depth story they are now developing on Dec. 26, according to Jupiter police.

"We're interested in this story because it is rare that there is a quadruple murder, although unfortunately another four people were killed in Ohio this week," said Cindy Anderson, the America's Most Wanted Florida producer.

"Any time there is a child killed, for John Walsh, the story goes right to the top," she said, referring to the face and voice of America's Most Wanted.

Merhige is the suspect in the shooting of four members of his family -- his twin sisters from Miami, an aunt from Jupiter and a six-year-old cousin, Makayla Sitton, at the Sitton home in Paseos following Thanksgiving dinner. Since the shootings, both Merhige and his 2007 royal blue Toyota have been missing, and Jupiter police say that Merhige carefully planned the murders well before Thanksgiving night. He is charged with four counts of first degree murder.

Manny Puri, a supervisor inspector for the U. S. Marshals Service, said Friday that the marshals as well as Jupiter Police and the FBI want to keep Merhige's face in front of the public.

"This is a waiting game, a chess game," Puri said. "I don't have to hide, but Merhige does. Time is on our side. He has certain physical characteristics, his large protruding stomach and his receding hairline that are distinctive, as well as the obsessive compulsive characteristic that may draw someone's attention to him, resulting in a tip that would lead us to Merhige.

"This is what the U. S. Marshals do, we chase after fugitives and we do this well. We have the resources of all the other marshals across the county to help us as well."

Vansteenburgh said: "We are following every tip, and hope to get that one tip that gives us a lead in this case. We encourage people to call the Jupiter police with any information they may have." The number is (561) 746-6201.

A digital billboard about Merhige has been activated in cooperation with the Jupiter Police Department, the US Marshals Service and America’s Most Wanted. The billboard displays a photo of Merhige and is on the southbound side of I-95 in Delray Beach.

The FBI has also activated “Wanted” billboards along the southeast region of the United States about Merhige.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:46 pm

He has to be laying dead somewhere or they would have found him. He is/was a sick man and he can not hide forever.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:27 pm

For some reason, I do not think he is dead, but I think someone is helping him. Have no clue who..maybe a man IF he is gay or a woman if he is bi or whatever. The point, someone is helping him IMO.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:31 pm

Dad of victim: 4 Thanksgiving killings preplanned
Similar stories:

By KELLI KENNEDY
Associated Press Writer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Paul Merhige sat through three hours of Thanksgiving Day dinner and sing-a-longs around the piano, plotting the moment he would fatally shoot four relatives, his cousin-in-law said Tuesday. After opening fire, Merhige was heard saying he had waited 20 years to kill them.

There were no arguments, warnings or red flags before the rampage, said Merhige's cousin-in-law Jim Sitton, who hosted the dinner and whose 6-year-old daughter was killed. Merhige also shot his 79-year-old aunt to death and killed his twin sisters, one of whom was pregnant, police said.

"He had this whole thing preplanned. His goal was to shoot his sisters and punish his parents," Sitton said.

It's not clear exactly who was shot when, but the bloodbath could have been worse with 16 family members present. Sitton said Merhige, 35, also pointed the gun at Merhige's uncle, but it twice wouldn't fire. At one point, according to Sitton, Merhige "turned and started to walk away and said, 'I have been waiting 20 years to do this.'"

Authorities were still searching for Merhige, who has not been seen since the shootings.

At Sitton's home in an upscale, gated community in Jupiter, a beach town some 55 miles north of Miami, crime scene tape still overshadows holiday decorations. Sitton said the holiday meal was a happy one.

His daughter, Makayla, wrote on cards how thankful she was for her family, and strung them on a clothesline. After dinner, she sang songs as part of an impromptu dress rehearsal for a performance of "The Nutcracker" she was to be in the next day.

Sitton, a videographer for a local television station, said he doesn't know who invited Merhige to his home, but he thought little of it when Merhige's father called to say Merhige was on his way and needed directions.

Sitton said his wife's cousin was always on the fringe of family life and rarely attended gatherings. He had only met Merhige twice and hadn't seen him in more than a decade.

Sitton said Merhige methodically picked off his victims, shooting his twin sisters, Carla Merhige, a real estate agent, and Lisa Knight, who was pregnant. Like Makayla, they loved to sing.

Merhige also shot his aunt, Raymonde Joseph. Merhige's brother-in-law Patrick Knight was in critical but stable condition at a hospital Tuesday. Another man, Clifford Gebara, 52, was grazed by a bullet.

Sitton doesn't think Merhige planned to kill Makayla, but thinks he became jealous when he saw the family delight in her singing.

"He tried to snuff out the light," Sitton said. "He came into a baby's room. He saw her innocence and he walked in and purposefully killed her."

Sitton said he dreaded returning to his home, but was comforted when he walked into his daughter's room Sunday. Beside her bed, he wept when he read for the first time a novel she had been writing about a squirrel. Makayla was a voracious reader, who loved to sing, dance and tell stories. She would have turned 7 in a few days.

Jupiter police were looking in bodies of water near the home, though the search wasn't based on any specific tip, officer Sally Collins-Ortiz said. Investigators also alerted Michigan authorities to be on the lookout for Merhige because a doctor in the Detroit area treated him there three months ago. Authorities have not said what the doctor treated him for.

Sitton called Merhige "a monster" but said he didn't know if Merhige suffered from mental illness.

Court documents showed Merhige and his siblings had a troubled history. Nearly a decade ago, Merhige sought protection from law enforcement after he accused his sister of trying to kill him, according to records obtained by The Miami Herald. He dropped the request a few weeks later.

In 2006, Carla Merhige, requested a restraining order against her brother saying he threatened to kill her and himself, the newspaper reported. She also withdrew her request a few weeks later.

Merhige was believed to be driving a royal blue 2007 Toyota Camry with a rear spoiler and a Florida license plate.

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant Saturday for four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. A $10,000 reward was offered for information leading to his arrest.

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Normal Paul Merhige Manhunt to be featured on AMW December 26th.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:48 am

When “America’s Most Wanted” interviewed Jupiter Police Detective Jason Vansteenburgh Friday morning, the highly rated show was interested in the town of Jupiter and in the manhunt for Paul Merhige, accused of gunning down four members of his family on Thanksgiving night.

“Homicide is very rare in Jupiter,” said Vansteenburgh, who is the city’s police liaison with the U.S. Marshals’ Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force. “Also, we have had a manhunt for Merhige since Thanksgiving night, and are working both internationally and nationally to find him.”

“America’s Most Wanted” is expected to lead its telecast Saturday night at 9 p.m. on Fox with the Thanksgiving Day murders, and plans to air the in-depth story they are now developing on Dec. 26, according to Jupiter police.

“We’re interested in this story because it is rare that there is a quadruple murder, although unfortunately, another four people were killed in Ohio this week,” said Cindy Anderson, the America’s Most Wanted Florida producer.

“Anytime there is a child killed, for John Walsh, the story goes right to the top,” she said, referring to the face and voice of “America’s Most Wanted.”

Merhige is the suspect in the shooting of four members of his family — his twin sisters from Miami, an aunt from Jupiter and a 6-year-old cousin, Makayla Sitton, at the Sitton home in Paseos following Thanksgiving dinner. Since the shootings, both Merhige and his 2007 royal blue Toyota have been missing, and Jupiter police said that Merhige carefully planned the murders well before Thanksgiving night. He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

Manny Puri, a supervisor inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service, said Friday the marshals as well as Jupiter police and the FBI want to keep Merhige’s face in front of the public.

“This is a waiting game, a chess game,” Puri said. “I don’t have to hide, but Merhige does. Time is on our side. He has certain physical characteristics, his large protruding stomach and his receding hairline that are distinctive, as well as the obsessive compulsive characteristic that may draw someone’s attention to him, resulting in a tip that would lead us to Merhige.

“This is what the U.S. Marshals do, we chase after fugitives and we do this well. We have the resources of all the other marshals across the country to help us as well.”

A digital billboard about Merhige has been activated in cooperation with the Jupiter Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service and America’s Most Wanted. The billboard displays a photo of Merhige and is on the southbound side of I-95 in Delray Beach.

The FBI has also activated “Wanted” billboards along the southeast region of the United States about Merhige.

Vansteenburgh said: “We are following every tip, and hope to get that one tip that gives us a lead in this case. We encourage people to call the Jupiter police with any information they may have.”

The number is (561) 746-6201.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by CritterFan1 on Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:34 am

I hope he is caught soo. You know what is left of his family is scared to death of him. I would be if I were related to him.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:19 am

I really think he had this planned and knew exactly where he was going after he did the deed. Someone is helping him and IMHO, supplying him with meds for his mental problems. Maybe a lover. But, someone is helping him and I don't think he is in Florida anymore.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:16 am

No way can this guy just disappear. Unless he is being helped. My feeling is he is laying dead somewhere.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:25 pm

For some reason, I do NOT think he is dead. Just a gut feeling.

He had four weapons with him according to HLN and none of the guns have been found.

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Normal Mother speaks out after daughter's Thanksgiving murder

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:13 pm

Posted: Today at 9:50 pm EST

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- A mother is breaking her silence after her daughter was murdered in cold blood on Thanksgiving night.

Six-year-old Makayla Sitton was murdered along with three family members on Thanksgiving night. Police said the shooter is relative Paul Michael Merhige whose motive was revenge after not being invited to the holiday dinner party.

Muriel Sitton is speaking out for the first time Thursday afternoon at the Esther Center in Palm Beach Gardens, where she said it was a joyful place for her and Makayla. "It dose warm my heart to be here. We have spent many beautiful moments here. She loved coming here. It was a joyful place for her to be, and I want her to be remembered as a light," said Sitton with tears in her eyes.

The night before Makayla was killed, she placed a single carnation on her mother's bed and a note reminding her that she wanted to give the flower to dancer Adriana Salazar.

Makayla never made it to her last performance, however, Sitton wants everyone to remember her as a shining light. "I'd like people to not dwell on the horror of that day, but to remember a child that was shinning so bright on Thanksgiving night," said sitton.

A $35,000 reward has been extended for anyone with information that leads to the apprehension of Paul Michael Merhige. Please contact the Jupiter Police Department at 561-746-6201, their local law enforcement agency or Crime Stoppers' anonymous "TIP" phone number, 1-800-458-TIPS (8477).

Merhige was last seen driving a royal blue 2007 Toyota Camry with a rear spoiler and Florida license plate W42 7JT.

A $35,000 reward has been extended for anyone with information that leads to the apprehension of Paul Michael Merhige. Please contact the Jupiter Police Department at 561-746-6201, their local law enforcement agency or Crime Stoppers' anonymous "TIP" phone number, 1-800-458-TIPS (8477).

Please click here to see the video of this poor little girls mother talking about her daughter:
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Normal Reward has just increased to $100,000

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:15 pm

om WPTV.com) – The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Task Force is now offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Paul Michael Merhige. Merhige is suspected of killing 4 relatives at a holiday gathering Thanksgiving night in Jupiter. Among the deceased victims are Merhige’s sisters; Carla Merhige and Lisa Knight, who was pregnant, an Aunt; Raymonde Joseph, and a six year old cousin, Makayla Sitton, the daughter of NewsChannel 5 photographer Jim Sitton. The parents of Malayla Sitton say they hope this will provide extra incentive for someone to come forward with information. Jupiter police say the extra money will undoubtedly bring more tips with the hope that one of them will pan out.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:25 pm

:cheers: This is wonderful news. 100,000 :cheers:
I hope whoever is helping him wants that money.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:22 pm

Yes, it is. Here is how it came to be $100K.

Massacre Victims' Families Increase Suspect Reward
Sitton, Joseph Families Raise Potential Reward To $100,000

POSTED: 5:35 pm EST December 18, 2009
UPDATED: 12:18 am EST December 19, 2009

JUPITER, Fla. -- The families of the victims in the Thanksgiving Day massacre have increased the reward for the suspected killer.

Paul Michael Merhige, 35, is wanted on four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He is accused of killing Makayla Sitton -- his cousin -- and four others after Thanksgiving dinner in Jupiter.

The other victims in the Thanksgiving massacre were Makayla's grandmother and the suspect's aunt, Raymond Joseph; his pregnant sister, Carla Merhige; and her twin, Lisa Knight.

In an effort to increase public awareness regarding Merhige, the Sitton and Joseph families are collectively contributing $65,000, bringing the potential reward up to $100,000.

"This killer -- this evil killer -- took my baby girl, my mother, my two cousins all in one night. On Thanksgiving night, he massacred families and shattered our lives," said Muriel Sitton. "He's dangerous and he's still out there. I want to do whatever it takes to catch him. I know that's what my daughter would have wanted. Makayla wouldn't want us to hide in fear."

Merhige was last seen driving a 2007 royal blue, four-door Toyota Camry with Florida tag number W42-7JT. The vehicle has no tint on the windows and has a rear spoiler.

He is considered armed and dangerous, according to Jupiter officials. Police said Merhighe's lifeline is his cash and that he will have to make a move when he runs out of funds. When he does, they said they hope the public will be alert.

"It should be yelling out to people, 'pay attention,'" said Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow. "We want your help. No matter what information you have, however minute you think it is, call us."

America's Most Wanted said it will also keep the case in the national spotlight until Merhige is caught. The show is planning to feature in-depth stories on Dec. 26 and Jan. 9. The case was profiled briefly on the show last weekend. While the episode generated a few leads, police said they have already gone through about 90 percent of them.

Reward For Merhige Increased (PDF)

Photos of the suspect are available at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and additional information on the characteristics of the suspect can be found at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Any information concerning Merhige's whereabouts can be reported to the Jupiter Police Department at 561-746-6201, their local law enforcement agency or Crime Stoppers’ anonymous "TIP" phone number, 800-458-TIPS (8477).

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:51 pm


Carla Merhige

Lisa Knight

Makayla Sitton
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:14 pm

Todd and I have been friends with members of the Sitton family for many years and I post this to the blog in the hope of making more people aware and bringing this murderer, still at large, to justice!
.........
To Friends/Family of the Sittons:


This email attachment includes a WANTED poster for the killer of our niece, Makayla Joy Sitton (6 years old) in Florida. I am sending this email to friends and family far and wide across the US. The police do not know where this killer is – he could be ANYWHERE in the US. If all you can do is put a flyer up at work and your local post office or mall, we would be grateful. If you are able to print multiple copies and hand them out, that is even better. At the very least, please forward this to YOUR friends and family by email. And please pray that Paul Merhige will come out of hiding and be caught. Pray too for Jim and Muriel, David’s brother and sister-in-law. Muriel lost her only child and her mother and twin-sister cousins on the same night. To say the least, they are devastated. We are thankful for any assistance to help find him. This is a campaign to put a child killer behind bars.
.......................
The tragic story: Thanksgiving Day, family members gathered in a Jupiter, FL home to celebrate. Makayla Joy Sitton shared her faith, recited Psalm 100 and told them of Jesus’ love. A few hours later her parents tucked her into bed. She finished reading her night time devotional and went to sleep. Later that night one of the guests opened fire, killing his twin sisters, one of whom was pregnant. He also killed Makayla’s grandmother. Then he went into the little girl’s room and executed her in cold blood as she lay sleeping in her bed. Makayla Sitton died Thanksgiving night. She was 6 years old. The killer is still out there! Attached you will find a flyer in Word and PDF formats that includes the story, photos and description of the killer. At the bottom there are tabs that people can tear off and keep handy so when they see this man, they know who to call!We beg you to forward this e-mail to everyone in your address book. Also, please print 5 or more copies of the flyer to distribute throughout your community... at the bank, the grocery store, your office, wherever! The more people who see his face and know about the evil things he did to destroy so many lives, the sooner he will be caught and the families can seek justice. Please help.


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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:13 pm

Police: Suspect in Fla. killings was ready to flee
December 23, 2009 06:30 EST

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- The South Florida man accused of fatally shooting four relatives on Thanksgiving night withdrew more than $12,000 from an account days before the attack.

Investigators are worried 35-year-old Paul Merhige had the wherewithal to flee the country or hide away awhile. The reward for information leading to his capture has been hiked to $100,000.

Billboards bearing his image have been erected in South Florida, and the case will be featured Saturday on "America's Most Wanted." Despite heavy publicity after Merhige allegedly killed his twin sisters, aunt and cousin, authorities have found no sign of him. The former Miami resident had no prior criminal history.

Investigators say Merhige planned carefully -- taking clothing, cash and a computer hard drive before heading to Jupiter, the small beach town where he opened fire.

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Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:15 pm

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- All the parents of the youngest Thanksgiving massacre victim want for Christmas is to catch the man suspected of killing their 6-year-old daughter while she slept in her bed.

Paul Michael Merhige, 35, is wanted on four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He is accused of fatally shooting four of his relatives -- including his 6-year-old cousin, Makayla Sitton -- and injuring two others after Thanksgiving dinner in Jupiter.

"Having her back would be what I want, but getting Paul on Christmas would be a distant second," Jim Sitton said Tuesday at a news conference outside the Eden Roc, where he and his wife, Muriel, met with John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted."

The show has already featured Merhige and is scheduled to air another segment about him the day after Christmas.

"We have profiled this coward twice on 'America's Most Wanted,' and I've come down here to make sure that this guy is featured this week on 'America's Most Wanted' and to meet Jim and Muriel and their beautiful family," Walsh said.

Walsh knows what it's like to lose a child to a killer at large. His son, Adam, was abducted from a South Florida mall July 27, 1981. Adam's severed head was found two weeks later in Vero Beach, but it took 27 years before police linked a convicted killer who died in prison to his murder.

"We've walked in their shoes," Walsh said of himself and his wife. "Our son, Adam, was the same age as their beautiful daughter."

Walsh and the Sittons hope the constant saturation of Merhige's face on television, billboards and flyers will help lead to his capture.

"If he's watching any of these newscasts, let me tell you, 'You're in big trouble,'" Walsh warned Merhige. "'Think about this, Paul Merhige. You could go down. Somebody could surround you and you could be killed. The right thing to do is turn yourself in now.'"

Mothers Volunteer To Help Catch Massacre Suspect

Meanwhile, two friends of the Sittons are volunteering their time to help catch Merhige.

The two mothers, Mary and Mandy, who asked that their last names not be used for their safety, are close friends of the Sittons. They are organizing volunteers to hand out "wanted" flyers of Merhige.

Anyone wishing to volunteer to help distribute flyers can e-mail [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

A $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Merhige's arrest.

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Normal Paul Michael Merhige, the man accused of perpetrating Jupiter's Thanksgiving Day massacre, withdrew more than $12,000 from a bank in the days before police say he gunned down four relatives at a holiday dinner

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:43 pm

This is a very good article and if you click on the link, there is video.

MIAMI BEACH — Paul Michael Merhige, the man accused of perpetrating Jupiter's Thanksgiving Day massacre, withdrew more than $12,000 from a bank in the days before police say he gunned down four relatives at a holiday dinner — a sum so substantial that investigators worry he may be able to leave the country or remain hidden for an extended period.

Authorities said the amount of money Merhige amassed prior to the horrific attack at his cousin's Jupiter home underscored the extent of his preparations before the shooting and heightened the danger he continues to pose as he remains on the loose.

The revelation came Tuesday as officials announced in Miami Beach that Merhige's case will be featured on the national television show "America's Most Wanted" Saturday evening and again in January.

"I'm very surprised that he has been able to stay out there this long," said John Walsh, host of the long-running television program. "I think maybe somebody's helping him or he's a lot smarter than people give him credit for."

The potential reward in this case was recently increased and is currently up to $100,000.

Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow said the amount of cash and the weaponry to which Merhige, 35, has access underscores the need to run him down quickly. He and other officials today warned anyone who may be helping him.

"I'd like to send a message," Kitzerow said. "If we find out who you are we will pursue charges against you."

Investigators have said little about where they think Merhige may be but Kitzerow hinted today that officials had some evidence of his movements since the Nov. 26 massacre, which left dead Merhige's twin sisters, his aunt and his cousin's 6-year-old daughter. The reward for information leading to his capture has been increased to $100,000

"We're very confident that someone out there has the information we need," he said.

Walsh, the TV show's host, said he worried that Merhige might try to leave the country, perhaps by boarding a cruise ship. Days before the killing, he had retrieved his passport from his parents' house.

Walsh, who was in Florida Tuesday, also spent time with the Sittons.

In a federal court document filed earlier this month, an FBI agent stated that evidence showed Merhige had left the state, without offering details.

As a high school student in Miami, Merhige excelled in sports and scholastics before attending the University of Miami.

A video is being released of a younger Merhige which was taken back when he was in high school when he was attempting to gain a football scholarship.

In the video, Merhige is talking about his talent as a kicker on the football team.

The ‘High School Football’ video is available on the Town of Jupiter Web site at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] by clicking on the “Wanted: Homicide Suspect Paul Michael Merhige” announcement.

His mother said he had a nervous breakdown at 19 and that mental illness prevented him from working. Over the years he fought with his family, and his sister once was granted a restraining order against him after she said he threatened to kill her.

Before the killings he lived alone in an apartment in an upscale part of Miami and was supported financially by his parents, according to his mother.

Police say he planned the slayings meticulously, taking clothing, cash and a computer hard drive from his apartment before heading to Jupiter for a Thanksgiving feast at the house of his cousin Muriel Sitton and her husband, Jim.

Speaking at Tuesday's news conference in Miami Beach, Jim Sitton said the shooting had caused tension between his family and Merhige's parents, but that he hoped the apprehension of the alleged killer would help to bring closure to their grief.

"I don't see any light yet," he said.

“America’s Most Wanted”

What: Segment on fugitive Paul Merhige

When: 9 p.m. Saturday, WFLX FOX, Comcast Channel 11

Who: If you have information on the case, call: Jupiter Police - (561) 746-6201 or Crimestoppers - (800)-458-TIPS

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Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

Post by CritterFan1 on Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:38 pm

WTF Instead of his parents supporting him financially they should have used that money to have him locked away and receive help, no kidding. Not support a grown man, he should have been under a dr's care.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Paul Michael Merhige Given Seven Life Sentences For The Thanksgiving Shooting That Took The Lives Of 4

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