Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Mary Mergel vanished from her Murray County home in early 2004. Mergel had left her family and friends in New Jersey a few years earlier to move near Chatsworth after her only son, Paul, moved south with his three children. She sold a successful hair salon to make the move, and when she couldn’t get medical care for her ailing husband at a Veterans Administration clinic locally, she moved him back north to receive care until his passing in early 2004. She drove back to visit monthly. After her husband died, Mergel made a decisio to sell her house on the five acres off Devonwood Lane near Chatsworth and move back home.
By sometime in March or April, her family stopped hearing from Mary. Messages went unreturned. When her sister was able to reach a family member, she got various stories about Mary being off on a trip to Florida or California. Finally, on May, 30, 2004, family in New Jersey filed a missing persons report with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office. Officers visited the home to do welfare checks. They discovered her belongings had been packed away. No one could find Mary Mergel.
Mary's son, Paul Mergel was charged with several offenses related to cashing Mary Mergel’s Social Security checks after her disappearance. He pleaded guilty to seven counts of first degree forgery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, went to prison for about a year and was released on probation.
Mary Mergel disappeared under suspicious circumstances and it’s possible she was murdered. No one has been charged in her death.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Murray County Sheriff's Office