Jupiter police divers search for murder weapon

By Al Pefley email

JUPITER, FL (WFLX) - The man who opened fire at a home in Jupiter killing four people continues to elude police. The search is still on for him and the murder weapon.

Jupiter police divers spent hours Tuesday searching a retention pond behind the house on Via Veracruz where the shooting spree occurred on Thanksgiving.

Police say the pond is about 15 feet deep, and the murky water reduced visibility to almost zero; no gun was found.

Police say it's possible the suspect, 35-year-old Paul Merhige of Coral Gables, threw the gun in the pond as he drove away. He is accused of shooting and killing four of his own relatives, including a 6-year-old girl in her bed.

Neighbors stopped to watch the divers. "Absolutely horrible tragedy. It's one of the worst I can ever remember. I mean, why do you shoot a kid five, six times? It's insane!" said Alan Adelson, who lives not far from the retention pond.

"Just awful. Poor people. I don't know how they'll ever recover. Any of 'em. Just terrible!" said Vince Barrett, another neighbor.

Our partners at the Palm Beach Post report Merhige has a history of threatening family members. He recently purchased guns, and his mother says he picked up his passport. The U.S. Marshals Service says there's a chance Merhige has indeed left the country.

They've alerted airport security personnel to watch for him and his car, a blue 2007 Toyota. It's believed Merhige bought the Camry to hide the car from law enforcement.