Fla. police nab man in Thanksgiving killings of 4
AP Legal Affairs Writer
WESTON, Fla. (AP) – A Florida man suspected of gunning down four family members at a Thanksgiving dinner was arrested Saturday night in the Florida Keys, authorities said.
Jupiter Police Sgt. Scott Pascarella said Paul Merhige, 35, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies at a motel on Long Key. Pascarella credited the TV show “America’s Most Wanted” for the tip that led to Merhige’s capture.
Merhige has been the subject of a massive manhunt that included a $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture. He is accused of killing his twin sisters, 79-year-old aunt and 6-year-old cousin on Thanksgiving Day at a family gathering in Jupiter.
Authorities said Merhige checked into the motel in 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 covered at the Keys motel.
Police say Merhige opened fire at a home where 16 relatives had gathered for the holiday in Jupiter, an affluent community about 90 miles north of Miami. He faces four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Authorities have said Merhige carefully planned the killings. A family member said Merhige was heard saying after the shootings that he had waited 20 years to kill the relatives.
Police said Merhige was taking numerous medications, including Ativan, used to treat anxiety disorders, and may be experiencing symptoms including insomnia, chest pain and restlessness.