HOUSTON (TCD) — Police arrested a 43-year-old woman nearly two years after her landlord’s remains were found under a staircase on his property.
Houston Police announced that officers arrested Pamela Ann Merritt Friday, Aug. 18, in connection with the 2021 death of Colin Kerdachi after she was charged in May. Harris County Jail records show she was booked on charges of murder and theft.
On Dec. 6, 2021, Houston Police officers responded to 605 W. Clay St. after a resident called to report finding human remains in the backyard while cleaning. Police got to the scene and found the remains were “in an advanced state of decomposition.”
The remains were sent to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences and positively identified as Kerdachi’s.
According to charging documents, Merritt allegedly stabbed Kerdachi to death with a knife Feb. 15, 2021. He was reported missing Feb. 20, 2021, following a major winter storm that caused “widespread power outages.” Police also spoke with another resident, Michael Brown, who said he had not heard Kerdachi in the home since Feb. 15.
On Feb. 23, 2021, officers went to the Clay Street home for a burglary in progress and spoke with another resident who said Merritt was inside and “would not leave.” The resident asked the woman where Kerdachi was, and she allegedly replied that she “killed him.”
Police detained Merritt and transported her to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
In October 2021, Houston Police received from a third resident who said she paid rent to Merritt and Brown and was told she would get a discount if she cleaned two stories of the home. The woman reportedly found “what looked like large pools of blood and drops of blood” on the floor. Police went inside and noticed “what looked like large pools of blood on the floor on the third floor of the house, specifically in the bathroom area where there was possible blood on the floor and wall near the bathtub.”
The female resident told police Kerdachi was missing and that Merritt told her she and Brown took Kerdachi to the hospital “for a puncture wound” because he “sustained some kind of stab wound from falling on a sharp object.”
Merritt allegedly said Kerdachi died at the hospital.
The criminal complaint says the officer who responded to the home Dec. 6 when Kerdachi’s remains were found noticed the body was “consistent with attempting to hide the body from detection.”
When the female resident told Merritt and Brown she was calling police, they allegedly “started painting over things.” A knife was reportedly placed inside a mailbox, too.
According to the complaint, Merritt told police she believed Kerdachi “faked his death to commit fraud and is probably alive in Africa.” She also said the blood inside the home “was from rotten meat that she cleaned out of a refrigerator.”
Both Merritt and Brown argued the remains found under the house were actually a dead dog.
Brown and Merritt were released without charges.
The autopsy determined Kerdachi suffered fatal sharp and blunt force trauma to the torso, but he also sustained stab wounds to his scapula, head, neck, chest, and ribs.
Merritt is scheduled to appear in court in November.
TRUE CRIME DAILY: THE PODCAST covers high-profile and under-the-radar cases every week. Subscribe to our YouTube page for podcasts, exclusive videos, and more, and don’t forget to follow us on TikTok.