SC SC - Paula Merchant, 25, Forest Acres, 3 Jan 1999

Discussion in '1990's Missing' started by s_finch, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. s_finch

    s_finch New Member

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  3. imamaze

    imamaze Former Member

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    Case originally posted by:s finch, moved here for discussion

    Paula Merchant

    SC-Paula Louise Merchant
    MPCCN Case File: 929F90
    Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

    Missing Since: January 3, 1999 from Forest Acres, South Carolina
    Classification: Endangered Missing
    Date Of Birth: August 3, 1973
    Age: 25 years old
    Height and Weight: 5'6; 120 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Blonde hair, brown eyes. Merchant often wears her hair in ponytails or braids. She has dimples.
     
  4. monkalup

    monkalup Former member

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    Paula Merchant:
    In 1999, Paula Merchant had the world by the tail: smart, pretty, and part of a loving family. Then one January night she vanished, her car burned. Tips poured in, but Paula hasn't been seen since. Investigators says someone has to know who set fire to Paula's car. Could you help solve this case? She has been missing since January 3, 1999 from Columbia.
    If you have any information about Paula Merchant's disappearance, please call Forest Acres Police at 782-9444, ask to speak with Lt. Hinson.

    Age: 25
    White Female, Light Complexion
    Hair: Medium Blonde (often in ponytails or braids);
    Eyes: Brown
    Height: 5'6 1/2"
    Weight: 120 pounds


    $25,000 REWARD Missing Person "At Risk"
    (This family-oriented young woman is considered "at risk" by her family and law enforcement.)
    http://www.wach.com/news/content.aspx?id=40034
     
  5. monkalup

    monkalup Former member

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    http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/10190..._merchant.shtml
    Missing woman's parents seek answers

    Web posted October 19, 2000

    Have a thought? Go to the @ugusta Forums.


    By Johnny Edwards
    Staff Writer




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paula Merchant: 25-year-old resembled four women who Reinaldo J. Rivera is charged with having killed.
    SPECIAL

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    They heard Reinaldo J. Rivera had stopped talking, but Darrell and Irma Merchant made the drive to Augusta anyway.

    For nearly two years, the couple from Forest Acres, S.C., has been doing everything they can to bring home their daughter, Paula. The 25-year-old Georgia State University graduate and aspiring anthropologist vanished from the city outside Columbia the night of Jan. 3, 1999, while en route to a meeting with friends.

    They came here Wednesday bearing a thick stack of fliers showing their daughter and her Nissan Sentra, found charred the night of her disappearance. They spoke with Richmond County Sheriff's Department's lead investigator in the Rivera case, but he couldn't tell them what they wanted to hear.

    They say they hope they can get that from a face-to-face meeting with the man accused of killing four women in the metro area. All were light-haired, attractive and thin, as was Paula.

    ``I want to see his expression if I showed him a picture of my daughter,'' Mrs. Merchant said. ``I would really like to see that.''

    That's not likely to happen soon. Although Mr. Rivera reportedly spent last weekend giving police an earful about his alleged crimes, he was told by an attorney appointed Monday to keep quiet.

    Veteran Augusta defense attorney Peter Johnson said more than a dozen agencies throughout the country have contacted him, trying to ``get my client to say he killed someone in their area.''




    Until he learns more about Mr. Rivera, Mr. Johnson said, he ``will not allow him to speak to police or families in outside areas seeking closure.''

    ``At this point in time, it will not happen,'' Mr. Johnson said. ``I'm not in a hurry to offer my guy up.''

    State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Hugh Munn said investigators are used to suspects remaining silent after lawyers become involved. SLED agents interrogated Mr. Rivera and are following leads from that, but so far, nothing concrete has emerged.

    Columbia police Investigator Harold Chambers has spent the past eight years almost exclusively trying to find out what happened to Dail Boxley Dinwiddie on Sept. 24, 1992. Mr. Rivera was a student at the University of South Carolina when Ms. Dinwiddie disappeared. She was last seen at the Jungle Jim's nightclub near the five points area.




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Darrell and Irma Merchant of Columbia post a sign on the window of the Subway restaurant on Broad Street in Augusta asking for information on their daughter, Paula Merchant. The 25-year-old Georgia State University graduate disappeared Jan. 3, 1999.
    SPECIAL

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Faded bumper stickers left from the massive search effort can still be spotted on cars in the city.

    ``The lawyer's got to do his job, and we've got to do ours,'' said Investigator Chambers, who is eager to speak with Mr. Rivera. ``Hopefully, we can meet somewhere in between.''

    Paula Merchant resembles Mr. Rivera's alleged victims, but the circumstances surrounding her disappearance don't fit, her parents acknowledge. But Columbia is within an hour of Aiken County. Mr. Rivera had lived in the state capital a few years before and knew the area.

    And what can peppering another city with reward posters hurt?

    ``We've waited 19 months without her,'' Mrs. Merchant said. ``If we have to wait until he says something, we will.''

    Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or jedwards92@hotmail.com.
     
  6. monkalup

    monkalup Former member

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    http://www.theyaremissed.org/ncma/gallery/...php?A200300363W

    Endangered Missing Adult



    If you believe you have any information regarding this case that will be helpful in this investigation please contact:
    Forest Acres Police Department at (803) 782-9444

    Name: Paula Louise Merchant

    Classification: Endangered Missing Adult
    Date of Birth: 1973-08-03
    Date Missing: 1999-01-03
    From City/State: Forest Acres, SC
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 25
    Gender: Female
    Race: White
    Height: 66 inches
    Weight: 120 pounds
    Hair Color: Blonde
    Eye Color: Brown
    Complexion: Light
    Clothing: Dark pink knitted hat, navy coat, green sweater, gray pants, black shoes.
    Jewelry: Large silver ring.

    Circumstances of Disappearance: Unknown. Paula left her residence at approximately 6:30pm to attend a meeting at a local church. Her vehicle was located on January 4, 1999 at 2230 Commerce Dr. in Columbia, SC at approximately 12:00am. The car had been burned.

    Investigative Agency: Forest Acres Police Department
    Phone: (803) 782-9444
    Investigative Case #: 01-99-0017
    NCIC #: M180861855
     
  7. s_finch

    s_finch New Member

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    From what I've read about Rivera, I don't believe he is the perp in this case or in the Dinwiddie case.
     
  8. monkalup

    monkalup Former member

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    I concur. I sure wish we could get some answers in either case.
     
  9. eeyorelrn

    eeyorelrn Verified Registered Nurse

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    Bumping for Paula
     
  10. eeyorelrn

    eeyorelrn Verified Registered Nurse

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    Bumping up for Paula... too long without answers.
     
  11. s_finch

    s_finch New Member

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    Bumping for Paula
     
  12. Spacemonkey1975

    Spacemonkey1975 New Member

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    I had just moved to Cola a few months before Paula went missing. I remember at the time there was talk of her being a recovering addict of some sorts. I google mapped where her car was found and at the time there used to be some housing projects past that airport. If she decided to score instead of going to her meeting there is a good chance she would've went in that area "looking" based on where her parents lived.
     
  13. Shamrocker99

    Shamrocker99 New Member

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    Wish there was a little more information about that possible drug activity--it would make such a difference in so many cases if they were just upfront about these missing people. I know most have that fear, though, that if they mention anything about past drug use, that no one will care that they are missing or look for them! It would just help to have all the facts when sleuthing their cases! Such a beautiful girl-hope her parents get some answers soon!
     
  14. TedMac

    TedMac Well-Known Member

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  15. las726

    las726 New Member

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    I'm interested in researching/investigating this case a little more. Does anyone have any more detailed information that may be helpful? If so, please message me. Thanks!
     

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