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Houston woman charged with killing landlord, hiding body and collecting rent from other tenants

Two years ago, a Texas woman was arrested on suspicion of murder and theft after her missing Houston landlord faked her death and claimed to have fled to Africa.

Pamela Ann Merritt, 43, was accused of murdering Colin Keldach, 78, after telling friends she hid her body under a staircase for months before turning up, according to court documents. He told police that the body belonged to a dead dog.

People reported Keldach’s disappearance in February 2021 after a winter storm and extreme cold shook the city, causing massive power outages. The arrest came after detectives investigated the case and pieced together a series of suspicious events following the discovery of the missing man’s body.

On February 23, 2021, Keldach’s tenant, Joe Guy, told police that when he returned home from a long trip, he found Keldach gone and Merritt in the house, refusing to leave.

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Pamela Merritt was arrested Tuesday in connection with the stabbing of her landlord, Colin Cardach, who was found hiding behind an outdoor staircase months after she was last seen alive in Houston. You can see it in the published mugshot. (Houston Police Department)

After reviewing the body camera footage of the 2021 missing person, Houston detectives said in the criminal complaint, “When I asked where Mr. Colin, the landlord, was, the defendant replied he was dead and she killed him.” I spoke,” he wrote. He reports and re-examines witnesses.

At the time, police took Merritt to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, according to court filings.

But by October 2021, Merritt was back in the building, and Keldach was still missing.

Another tenant, Tabitha Pope, described the suspicious discovery of “large puddles and drops of blood” on the upper floors of the building, a knife in the mailbox and “a bloody trash can in the loitering space.” was reported to the police.

Pamela Merritt smiling in her driver's license photo

Pamela Merritt, who is accused of murdering her landlord and hiding his body for months, was in photos released in May when police began chasing her. (Houston Police Department)

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Ms Pope recently moved into the building and told police she was paying rent to Ms Merritt and her boyfriend Michael Brown, who has been charged with tampering with evidence.

Pope said Merritt and Brown told him two conflicting stories about who owns the building. One is that he has gone missing. Second, he died in hospital.

Questioning their claims, the Pope allegedly tricked them into revealing the whereabouts of Keldach’s body in December, saying that the house could no longer be seized if Keldach’s body was found, according to court documents. be done.

Pamela Merritt in a white striped tank top.

Houston murder suspect Pamela Merritt was pictured in a photo posted to her Facebook profile. (Pamela Merritt/Facebook)

“Two days later, on the afternoon of December 5, 2021, Michael Brown and defendant began talking loudly about a dead dog under the back stairs,” the criminal complaint alleges.

She called the police, who arrived and found Keldach’s decomposed body, while Merritt and Brown had painted a bloodstained wall on the second floor.

Police questioned both Merritt and Brown and claimed the body belonged to a “dead dog,” according to the complaint. She also allegedly told detectives she thinks Cardachi faked his death and went to Africa. Additionally, she allegedly claimed that the blood around her home was “from rotting meat taken out of the refrigerator.”

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According to the complaint, Brown told detectives that he last saw Keldach in February 2021 and that he “had a stab wound to his abdomen” but had “just walked away” and “probably went to the hospital.” I think so,’ he said.

An autopsy revealed that Keldach had been stabbed multiple times. Police believe he was likely murdered on February 15, 2021, based on phone records and other eyewitness accounts.

Police arrested Mr. Brown in March and filed charges against Mr. Merritt on May 30 this year, but he continued on the run until Friday, when authorities successfully arrested him.

She is currently being held in Harris County Jail on $500,000 bail.

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