Houston Murder Mystery Unveiled: Woman Apprehended for Landlord's Killing

Houston Murder Mystery Unveiled: Woman Apprehended for Landlord’s Killing

The police apprehended Pamela Merritt for the 2021 killing of her landlord, Colin Kerdachi, aged 78, in Houston. Kerdachi’s body was discovered in a state of decomposition outside his residence after he had been reported missing approximately ten months earlier. (Photo of Merritt provided by Houston Police, house image via Google Maps)

A woman who informed a Houston police investigator that her landlord had likely fabricated his own demise and was “residing in Africa” now confronts a murder accusation, two years after his decaying remains were located beneath a staircase, as indicated by legal documents.

Pamela Ann Merritt, 43, was apprehended on Friday in relation to the death of her landlord, Colin Kerdachi, aged 78, as documented in court records.

An arrest affidavit examined by Law&Crime asserts that detectives hold the belief that Merritt fatally stabbed Kerdachi on or around February 15, 2021, and, with assistance from a roommate, concealed his body behind an exterior staircase.

This killing occurred during the unprecedented freeze in Houston that resulted in numerous power failures and an estimated $24 billion in damages.

Kerdachi’s remains weren’t located until December 6, 2021, even though the Houston police had been summoned to the residence multiple times, including instances when his acquaintances reported him as missing.

Initial contact with the police regarding the residence transpired on February 20, 2021, when several individuals close to Kerdachi reported his absence after losing communication with him following the storm.

Subsequently, three days later, the police were dispatched to the residence due to an ongoing burglary by the individual who lived on the ground floor and rented from Kerdachi, the occupant of the triplex’s top floor.

The male resident informed the police that upon returning home from an extended trip, he found Merritt inside, who subsequently refused to depart. Merritt was taken by officers to a medical facility for psychiatric evaluation, as detailed in the affidavit.

Additional police visits to the residence occurred, including a suspicious incident on October 2, 2021, when another tenant discovered significant amounts of blood in a third-floor bathroom while cleaning, according to the affidavit. This tenant also alerted the authorities about discovering a knife in the mailbox and a container with blood in a third-floor crawl space.

Upon reviewing all police interventions before the discovery of the body, a detective in 2023 contacted the man who reported the February 2021 burglary to the police. The man stated that Merritt confessed to killing Kerdachi when he inquired about the landlord’s whereabouts, according to the affidavit.

Detectives also interviewed an individual who had spent time with a person associated with Merritt a few days prior to the recovery of Kerdachi’s remains. This individual claimed to have heard Merritt admitting to the murder of her landlord and revealing the location of the body under the stairs.

The tenant who had previously reported to the police in October 2021 did so again upon discovering human remains under the staircase on December 6, 2021, during cleaning.

“I noticed ribs sticking out, and that’s when I thought, ‘Is that a body? What could it be?'” the woman recounted to KTRK.

Houston police detectives interrogated Merritt the following day. During the course of the questioning, Merritt allegedly persisted in her disbelief that Kerdachi was deceased, insisting that the body in the backyard was that of a deceased dog, according to the affidavit.

“She also maintained that she thinks [Kerdachi] faked his death for fraudulent purposes and is likely residing in Africa,” the affidavit outlined.

An arrest warrant was issued on May 30 for Merritt on the charge of murder, and she was taken into custody on Friday. Another individual, Michael Brown, who is accused of assisting in the disposal of Kerdachi’s body, faces a charge of evidence tampering, as reported by the police.

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Happy Purwal is a news writer with one year of experience. He is skilled in researching and writing engaging news articles. His expertise includes covering current events, politics, and human interest stories. He is passionate about delivering accurate and unbiased news to his readers.