Mystery surrounds man's disappearance

Mystery surrounds man's disappearance

There are 25 comments on the Traverse City Record-Eagle story from Nov 29, 2006, titled Mystery surrounds man's disappearance. In it, Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that:

A downstate man listed as missing in Charlevoix disappeared a full two months before anyone reported his absence to police.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Traverse City Record-Eagle.

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darvh

Allendale, MI

#1 Feb 18, 2007
What ever happened with the investigation of William Merriman? He was my neighbor and all the neighbors are deeply concerned. He went north to attend his mother's funeral and never returned. Concerned neighbors.
friend

Westland, MI

#2 Apr 22, 2007
Mystery surrounds man's disappearance
CHARLEVOIX — A downstate man listed as missing in Charlevoix disappeared a full two months before anyone reported his absence to police.
William George Merriman, 53, kept an apartment in Hudsonville, near Grand Rapids, but was staying in Charlevoix County prior to his disappearance this summer, officials said.
Authorities are investigating the possibility of foul play in Merriman's disappearance, Charlevoix County prosecutor John Jarema said.
Sheriff George Lasater and Jarema refused to comment on whether Merriman's disappearance is related to a recent search of a Bay County landfill.
Charlevoix sheriff's officials searched the landfill Nov. 9 and 10. Lasater said police sought evidence of a "major crime,” but declined to be more specific.
Merriman was last seen June 16, police said. Officials at the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office said Merriman's sister-in-law from the Detroit area filed the first missing person report with them Aug. 16.
Lasater said Merriman's vehicle remained in the drive at 11304 Phelps Road. The house belonged to Merriman's parents, Charles and Patricia.
Lasater said someone was living at the Phelps Road address, though neither he nor Jarema would identity that person or explain why the individual did not file a missing person report.
Janice L Johnson

AOL

#3 Apr 27, 2007
Bill's 1st. cousin in MA. Where is he and why hasn't there been further investigation into his disappearance? This is not acceptable for there is no closure. My mother was Patricia Merriman's twin sister and we are all very concerned and at a total loss on how to expedite this matter. Janice (You may contact me at this email address)
bay city news

United States

#4 May 15, 2007
11/11/2006
Officials comb through landfill for crime evidence
CHARLEVOIX — Authorities spent part of the week searching a Bay County landfill for evidence of a "major crime," but Charlevoix officials refused to say if they're investigating a homicide.
County Sheriff George Lasater said detectives from his department recovered "some evidence" after spending Wednesday and Thursday at the White Feather Landfill in Pinconning.
The investigation that lead officials to the landfill about 20 miles north of Bay City has been ongoing about two months, Lasater said. He would not disclose if his department is investigating a homicide, or some different crime.
"Right now, the only thing I can share with you is it's a major crime," he said, adding that while police have singled out a "person of interest," no warrants have been requested.
Lasater said detectives made arrangements to search the landfill "a few days" prior to the start of the search Wednesday.
The landfill, owned by Republic Services of Michigan, voluntarily complied with a police request to go digging, said company spokeswoman Stephanie Glysson.
"We have been excavating materials for the Charlevoix County Sheriff's Department and we have pinpointed the specific location for the materials they have been seeking," Glysson said. "They have determined that the loads from a series of days had come to the White Feather landfill."
Police determined trash from Charlevoix County was taken there after going through a transfer station in Kalkaska, Glysson said.
Landfill workers used a global positioning system to help locate trash that was dumped this summer and used their equipment to assist police from the sheriff's department and the Michigan State Police lab in Gaylord.
"The state police are only involved in as much as their lab is assisting," Lasater said, adding that there are no other police agencies involved in the investigation. Police took materials from the landfill with them Thursday, Glysson said.
best guess wheres bill

Baltimore, MD

#5 May 28, 2007
Bill went up to mothers furnual,stayed at house where his other brother lives and found out he was taking his parents money and putting in his own account.Knowing bill would expose him and he could be evicted with no money to live on or go to jail ,he decieded to do away with bill and bury him on the 40 acres in back where he knows a spot that no one will find because he lived there most of his life .what the police should do is get a cadiver dog and go through the whole 40 acres,thats my best guess on what police should do next.,I watch a lot of police shows so i just connected the dots and it all makes since i have been reading about this case for long time and can't believe that have not solved this case yet,maybe it's a small town with not enough resources for the police dept to use in order to find bill.
darvh

Coldwater, MI

#6 Jul 26, 2007
Janice L Johnson wrote:
Bill's 1st. cousin in MA. Where is he and why hasn't there been further investigation into his disappearance? This is not acceptable for there is no closure. My mother was Patricia Merriman's twin sister and we are all very concerned and at a total loss on how to expedite this matter. Janice (You may contact me at this email address)
I heard today that closure is coming real soon. I am sure he will not retire in Hawaii but will spent a lot of time in a real big house with lots of little rooms. Bill was a good person and did not deserve to die by the hands of his older brother..... We miss our neighbor
friend

Middletown, MD

#7 Aug 21, 2007
darvh wrote:
<quoted text> I heard today that closure is coming real soon. I am sure he will not retire in Hawaii but will spent a lot of time in a real big house with lots of little rooms. Bill was a good person and did not deserve to die by the hands of his older brother..... We miss our neighbor
Hi Darvh can you please tell me more about who is bill ?what kind of person he was?I know he was a great painter and at one time had a dog.also was married once.
Also anyone else has more info on bill's life please add input.So we can under stand who he was as a person.
I do not want bill lost in this story as just another statistic .thanks
darvh

Montague, MI

#8 Aug 21, 2007
friend wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi Darvh can you please tell me more about who is bill ?what kind of person he was?I know he was a great painter and at one time had a dog.also was married once.
Also anyone else has more info on bill's life please add input.So we can under stand who he was as a person.
I do not want bill lost in this story as just another statistic .thanks
In response to your inquiry Bill was a neighbor who worked out of his home, He was very polite and soft spoken. He was very intelligent and loved nature. It shocked all of us when he didn't return back to Hudsonville after attending his mothers funeral. After many concerns as to his whereabouts I finally bugged the office manager about my concerns. She finally made some phone calls and we notified the police and contacted the brother and sister-in-law in the Detroit area. Many months later I meet these people when they came to Bill's apartment. The pain and concern was overwhelming for this family. There are many more twists to this saga but untill they arrest the older brother for this crime I will choose to keep it close to my vest. I pray it will be soon for the family they deserve some closure.
Benjamin J Gohs

United States

#9 Aug 31, 2007
darvh wrote:
<quoted text> In response to your inquiry Bill was a neighbor who worked out of his home, He was very polite and soft spoken. He was very intelligent and loved nature. It shocked all of us when he didn't return back to Hudsonville after attending his mothers funeral. After many concerns as to his whereabouts I finally bugged the office manager about my concerns. She finally made some phone calls and we notified the police and contacted the brother and sister-in-law in the Detroit area. Many months later I meet these people when they came to Bill's apartment. The pain and concern was overwhelming for this family. There are many more twists to this saga but untill they arrest the older brother for this crime I will choose to keep it close to my vest. I pray it will be soon for the family they deserve some closure.
I am a Staff Writer with the Charlevoix Courier Newspaper and I just received notification on what happened to Bill Merriman and who murdered him. I would like to speak with anyone who knew Bill so we can include information about his hobbies, what he did for a living, if he had children and that sort of thing.
As Bill wasn't from around here, I have no one who can help me with even basic info.
Anyone who can help me, please call me today or this weekend at: Office number area code (two, three, one) five,four,seven - six,five,five,eight, Home number:(same area code) five,four,seven - six,three,two,three, my email address is: [email protected]
Again, any help would be greatly appreciated.
BJG
John A Jarema

Kalamazoo, MI

#10 Aug 31, 2007
I am the Charlevoix County Prosecuting attorney. Yesterday, I charged Charles Merriman with the murder of William Merriman. I just became aware of this site and have read the comments. I ask those who have posted comments to please contact Det. Mike Wheat at the Charlevoix County Sheriff's Department at (two three one) five four seven - four four six one. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Good guess where Bill is

United States

#11 Sep 3, 2007
I did some research and thinking where he put bill and came up with this idea.About 25-30 years ago the family owned 80 acres total the front 40 they keeped and the back 40 then they sold it and someone built a house on it.So the brother knowing the police would not search the back 40 since they no longer own it may have put bill on that back 40 acres which he knows very well.I believe the police only searched the front 40 and the house?Just an idea to help you find bill
Good guess where Bill is

Midland, VA

#12 Sep 4, 2007
p.s. if you would like to start a search team we could make it on a sunday to help,just put add in paper and we should get 50-100 people to show up to search 40-80 acres.
update

Rockville, MD

#13 Oct 20, 2007
Man bound over for murder of brother
CHARLEVOIX —Charles “Chuck” Merriman Jr., 58, is accused of killing his brother William Merriman, then-54, on or about June 15, 2006, at their parents’ home near East Jordan.
Despite the fact that William Merriman’s body has never been found, the day before Merriman was arrested in late August, the 7th Probate Court granted a motion by Charlevoix County Prosecutor John Jarema to have William Merriman legally declared dead.
According to Wheat’s testimony, William Merriman had lived in Hudsonville for some time where he worked as a graphic design artist. William had traveled to his parents’ home on Phelps Road (where the defendant has lived for many years) around the time their mother died — around June 11 or 12. Their father had recently been admitted to a Charlevoix nursing home and William had been making arrangements for his father to come home.
The last evidence of William being alive is a debit card transaction at the Charlevoix Glen’s at about 8 p.m. on June 15, 2006.
Wheat said there has been no trace of William since.
Wheat said when he went to the Phelps Road home, Charles Merriman Jr. said he last saw his brother on the night of June 15, 2006, when he left with a man named “Ed” to travel to Indiana to answer a call for help from his ex-wife.But, Wheat said Merriman’s story kept changing.
When police executed a search warrant at the house and found blood inside, Wheat said Merriman explained that when he and his brother were removing carpet from the house in anticipation of their father coming home, William had cut his hand and bled extensively.Police said they found William Merriman’s blood in numerous locations throughout the first floor of the house. Wheat said Merriman explained that the blood was spread around the house both by his brother as he moved around following the injury and by the blood-soaked carpet when he removed it from the house.Wheat said deputies later made several trips to a landfill near Pinconning when they learned that a garbage company had hauled away a six-yard load of items from the Phelps Road home in early July. During one of those visits police recovered a sofa cushion that Charles Merriman Jr. later identified as having come from the house and having a large spot of his brother’s blood.
Wheat also said Chuck Merriman admitted that shortly before William’s disappearance “there had been a lot of friction between William and Chuck regarding Chuck’s inability to hold up his end of the family finances in getting a job.”
Others who testified Thursday included William’s landlord and business associates, all of whom described William as very dependable, responsible and organized. His landlord said he had never been late on a rent payment in 10 years.
William’s ex-wife testified that she hasn’t had any contact with William since their divorce in 1982.
A orthopedic surgeon testified that the injury to his brother’s hand the defendant described to police would be very unlikely to cause the amount blood loss as indicated by evidence collected at the scene. Because William Merriman’s body has not been found, Jarema’s biggest hurdle at trial may be proving to a jury that William died and that he died as a result of criminal activity.
The case will be set for a scheduling conference in the coming weeks. Merriman has been denied bond.NEW LAWYER REQUEST
Charles Merriman Jr. did something unusual:He asked 90th District Court Judge Richard W. May for a different court-appointed attorney saying that he was not satisfied with the work his current defense attorney Kerry Zahner had done to-date on his case.
Judge May denied Merriman’s request saying that he, too, knew Zahner to be a competent attorney. Merriman inquired about the possibility of being allowed to represent himself. Judge May also denied that request, pointing to Merriman’s own in-court statement that he had little understanding of legal proceedings.
next

Union Bridge, MD

#14 Jan 3, 2008
Does anyone know when the court case starts this spring?
next

Old Hickory, TN

#15 Jan 7, 2008
next wrote:
Does anyone know when the court case starts this spring?
Start date april -16th
cal

Tucson, AZ

#16 Jan 14, 2008
Actually He left there and hired on for a carnival. He's down south working..
question

Lombard, IL

#17 Feb 9, 2008
does anyone know if this is the merriman family that lived on the northwest side of detroit in the 1950's to 1960's?
next

United States

#18 Mar 2, 2008
question wrote:
does anyone know if this is the merriman family that lived on the northwest side of detroit in the 1950's to 1960's?
Reford ,michigan is where they lived at that time.
latest news

United States

#19 Mar 2, 2008
Homicide investigators search for missing freezer

CHARLEVOIX, Mich.(AP)— Authorities are searching for a missing freezer that may be related to the death of a Hudsonville man they believe was killed by his brother.

Fifty-eight-year-old Charles "Chuck" Merriman is charged with open murder in the June 2006 slaying of his brother, 53-year-old William Merriman.

William Merriman's body hasn't been found. But authorities allegedly found his blood in the home of the brothers' parents, who lived outside Charlevoix.

Blood also was found on households items tracked to a landfill. Authorities tell the Traverse City Record-Eagle they're looking for a freezer taken from the home.

Investigators believe Charles Merriman killed his brother after an argument about Charles' 25-year history of unemployment
Redford works

Downers Grove, IL

#20 Mar 23, 2008
The fact that the family lived in Redford may fit into what I was looking for. I believe that I knew the accused when I was living in Detroit. I cannot be sure, but the unique name, the fact that "Chuck" is of apparent importance, and the residence location all add up.

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