Murder suspect leaves trail on Facebook before arrest

Mark Merritt, the man accused of brutally stabbing Michael Crowley in his Lakebottom home, is currently in jail in Florida, but Columbus police are making plans to bring him back to Georgia.

During their investigation into the brutal stabbing death of 53-year-old Michael Crowley, police say evidence shows he was murdered between 5 pm Monday evening and 7 am Tuesday morning. His body was found on the kitchen floor of his Lakebottom home Tuesday night, just a few hours after his Ford Explorer was found partially burned in Cobb County.

Police then named their primary suspect in the case, 29-year-old Mark Merritt. They tell News Leader 9 that Merritt usually stayed in the Atlanta area, but he caught a bus to Florida on Wednesday.

Merritt's Facebook page shows that just two days after police say he killed Michael Crowley, he was updating his status with quotes about God and love helping him overcome whatever obstacles are thrown his way.

Police say the suspect and the victim had known each other for ten years, and the two even had a sexual relationship. Police say Mark Merritt even used his Facebook page to comment on a news story, claiming he acted in self-defense.

He wrote, "It was then he attacked me, I have several cuts on my hand from where I had to grab a knife." This was just hours before he turned himself in to the Orlando Police Department on Saturday.

Now, Mark Merritt is sitting in the Orange County Jail, awaiting extradition to Georgia. Merritt will be picked up in Florida later this week and booked in the Muscogee County Jail, charged with murder and theft by taking an auto.

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