School Closings And Delays

‘Crime Watch Daily’ to Feature Deadly Wilkes-Barre Arson Case

WILKES-BARRE -- A cold case in Luzerne County is getting national attention.

The death of a postal worker has been a mystery for years and now, the national TV show Crime Watch Daily will focus on the case of Laurie Merritt.

Her body was found in her home in Wilkes-Barre three years ago after a fire. Now investigators are digging deeper into that case.

It is a story Newswatch 16 has been following closely for years -- a much-loved mail carrier found dead in her Wilkes-Barre home after an intentionally set fire in 2014.

Now, the nationally televised show Crime Watch Daily is showing an interest, too.

A focus on stairs to the attic just one detail the family of Laurie Merritt says proves someone else was in her Wilkes-Barre home the night she died.

Thursday afternoon, Crime Watch Daily is focusing on the death of Merritt, her body was found in the attic of her home on Wyoming Street in 2014 after what was ruled an intentionally-set fire at the house.

"The stairs to the crawlspace, they attach and they were found at the bottom of my basement stairs like they had been tampered with," said the victim's daughter Kristen Merritt. "It's almost impossible to get those stairs down once you're in the attic, so she wasn't alone."

Laurie Merritt's family has been seeking answers and hoping for justice for more than three years now. That hope is turning to this national broadcast.

They have no question she was murdered and wouldn't harm herself. They make that clear to the Crime Watch Daily reporter.

"In her fax machine -- it was tax day the next day -- she faxed her taxes. She made dinner for her daughter. I went into her bedroom. She had a gun permit filled out ready to go. She was off the next day. She filled it out and was ready to go turn it in. She told me she was going to get a gun permit so she was afraid. She was in fear of something," said Joe Walkowiak, the victim's brother.

Crime Watch Daily airs at 3 p.m. on WNEP-TV.

If you know anything about the Laurie Merrit case, call Wilkes-Barre police.

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