JUPITER, Fla. – The FBI is now involved in the search for a suspect in the fatal Thanksgiving Day shootings of four of his relatives, according to documents filed Friday in federal court in West Palm Beach.
The filing indicates the FBI has joined the Jupiter Police Department and the U.S. Marshal's Service in the manhunt because prosecutors believe he has fled the state. It also noted Paul Merhige had collected clothing and a computer hard drive, and withdrew "a large amount of cash" before the shootings.
According to the sworn statement by FBI task force agent Paul Bruno, Merhige "had travel funds available to him" and got his passport from his mother a week earlier.
Meanwhile, a reward for Merhige's arrest has been increased to $35,000.
The Jupiter Police Department said Friday that a local business donated $10,000, adding to the $25,000 already offered. The business asked to remain anonymous. Police also released surveillance video of the suspect at a South Florida gun shop the day before the shootings.
Police say Paul Merhige killed his aunt, his twin sisters, one of whom was pregnant, and a 6-year-old girl at a home where 16 relatives gathered for the holiday in Jupiter, about 90 miles north of Miami.
Prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.