35 year old Paul Michael Merhige, the suspect in the Thanksgiving Day Murder Massacre where four family members were gunned down in cold, calculated blood has been captured and arrested by police in a Florida Keys motel.
Paul Michael Merhige captured
Paul Merhige, 35, was arrested without a struggle Saturday night after the TV show “America’s Most Wanted” aired and provided a the tip that led to Merhige’s capture on Long Key, Jupiter Police Sgt. Scott Pascarella said.
“I’m elated that the monster is in the cage,” Jim Sitton, the father of the 6-year-old victim Makayla Sitton, told The Palm Beach Post. “We don’t have to worry about him killing my wife or coming back for my father-in-law. It doesn’t bring my daughter back, but at least this chapter is over.”
KUDOS to America’s Most Wanted!!!
As Melinda Pfaff, co-owner of the Edgewater Lodge, and her husband watched AMW … they recognized the criminal being profiled Paul Michael Merhige as the man staying in room 14.
The arrest caps a furious manhunt that extended across the country and lasted more than a month, only ending after Merhige was recognized Saturday night by the owner of the small Long Key hotel where he had been staying since early December.
“My husband asked me, ‘Isn’t the guy staying up in 14?’” said Melinda Pfaff, co-owner of the Edgewater Lodge on Long Key. “I looked and said, ‘Yes, it is. Let’s call America’s Most Wanted.’”
Paul Merhige was the subject of a massive manhunt from Miami to Michigan that included billboards, flyers and a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Merhige is accused of killing his twin sisters, a 79 year-old aunt and a 6 year old cousin on Thanksgiving Day in Jupiter, FL. Who shoots a 6 year old child as they sleep?
Authorities said Merhige checked into the motel Dec. 2, using the name “John Baca” and a false Homestead address. He had the same blue 2007 Toyota Camry that had been a key part of the manhunt, but police said it was hidden at the motel.
U.S. Marshals said Merhige, who had withdrawn $12,000 from bank accounts before the killings, paid for his room in advance in cash. It turned out that the license tag on his car had been registered to a Lexus he owned in 2006.
Paul Michael Merhige is charged with four counts of first degree murder and one count of first degree attempted murder. He is also being held without bond.