Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sociopath Wanted

Perhaps the most shocking thing about last month's murder of Makayla Sitton is that the man responsible remains at large. Hopefully that will change, now that none other than America's Most Wanted has joined the hunt. Paul Michael Merhige was a guest in veteran TV photojournalist Jim Sitton's home on Thanksgiving evening when family members say he inexplicably opened fire, killing three female relatives before going into six year old Makayla's bedroom and shooting her dead as she slept. The mind reels. So too, do the survivors. But through all the unspeakable loss, Jim and Muriel Sitton have remained vocal guardians of their daughter's legacy. This I hope provides some solace, but the real healing will begin with the capture, prosecution and (dare I say) execution of her killer. Maykala's dad Jim is a highly respected member of the Photog Nation. Many of his behind the scenes brethren would be especially pleased if television - in the form of America's Most Wanted - played a part in the apprehension of this animal.

CAPTURED!

(From The Keys to a Cage)

Not long after Merhige's ugly mug was splayed across the airwaves, an America's Most Wanted viewer called in with a tip, leading authorities to a small motel in the Middle Keys of Florida. A 'John Baca' had paid in cash there for a two week stay. According to reports, Paul Michael Merhige was on a computer when U.S. Marshals burst into that room. (I'd love to know what he was looking at.) Marshals apprehended him without incident and found his Toyota Camry nearby, underneath a car cover. Merhige faces four counts of first-degree murder. Hopefully, the Sittons can begin to heal. But as Jim himself says...

"This doesn't bring Makayla back. I'm not jumping for joy. Her room is still empty. But the monster is in a cage now."

1 comment:

Brad K. said...

According to AP: Paul Michael Merhige,a Florida man suspected of killing four family members in a Thanksgiving shooting, was arrested Saturday Jan. 2, 2010 in the Florida Keys, authorities said.