Miami, FL – The search for Paul Michael Merhige is over. After 38 days on the run, the suspect who shot and killed four of his family members on Thanksgiving Day of 2009 was captured by U.S. Marshals in a motel in the Florida Keys. "America's Most Wanted" received a tip today from a person stating Merhige was staying at the Edgewater Lodge Motel located at mile marker 65.5 on Overseas Highway in Long Key. The tipster also gave the description of Merhige's car, his 2007 Blue Toyota Camry.
Once U.S. Marshals received the tipster's information, they did some investigating to determine that this wasn't just another false alarm. This tip, was the real deal.
U.S. Marshals discovered the vehicle tag on the blue car at the Edgewater Lodge was previously registered to one of Merhige's old cars. It was registered to Merhige's 1991 Lexus he owned in 2006. Armed with this information, Deputy U.S. Marshals knew this was a good tip. Deputy Marshals spoke with the management at the Edgewater Lodge and learned he had been hiding out at this location since December 2, 2009. Merhige paid in cash and he paid at least two weeks in advance.
Just as "America's Most Wanted" came on the air at 9 o'clock pm and was profiling the Merhige case, a team of U.S. Marshals and Task Force officers from the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force were already moving in to surround the location where he was hiding. The Edgewater Lodge is a 2-story privately owned motel. Merhige was renting unit # 14 which was an upstairs unit. Deputy Marshals took great care in approaching the unit where Merhige was hiding since he was in possession of a high powered rifle with a scope. Deputy Marshals made a quick and powerful entry into the unit where Merhige was hiding and placed him under arrest without incident. Merhige was actually on his computer when Deputy Marshals burst into the motel room. Merhige had attempted to hide his vehicle by covering it with a car cover, but that part of "his" plan did not work.