Wilkes-Barre Family Reacts to National Coverage of Mother’s Cold Case

WILKES-BARRE--- A national TV show is bringing more attention to a cold case in Luzerne County.

The national show Crime Watch Daily dug a little deeper into the death of Laurie Merritt.

She was described as a popular postal working and loving mom. However, three years ago her body was found in her home in Wilkes-Barre after a fire.

Family members have had questions about Merritt’s death for years now. They hope all this national and local attention finally leads to some answers.

“We would like investigators to get to the bottom of everything but it's good for the public to know what we really went through,” Daughter Kristen Merritt said.

Family members crowded around the television in Wilkes-Barre Thursday afternoon to watch Crime Watch Daily’s latest episode focusing on Laurie Merritt.

She was found in the attic of her home on Wyoming Street in 2014 after what was ruled as an intentionally set fire.

One thing the family found suspicious was that a part of the ladder leading up to the attic was not nearby when Merritt was found. They said there was no way Merritt could have been in the attic and detached the lower part of the ladder, someone else had to be there.

Investigators never charged anyone in connection with her death. Family members are sure Merritt was murdered.

Newswatch 16’s Sarah Buynovsky was also interviewed for the episode because of her coverage of the incident.

One thing that wasn’t in the national show that the family wishes was featured is the way Merritt was found in the attic.

“She was laying flat on her back just as if she was sleeping. She wasn't trying to cover her face. She wasn't trying to escape,” Kristen said. “It’s not the body’s normal reaction to just lay there and breathe in smoke. Normally, you try to get out.”

The one thing the family hopes for out of all this coverage is closure.

If you know anything that might help investigators with this cold case, you’re asked to contact the Wilkes-Barre Police Department.


  • Oh please

    It is funny how after someone dies they are well liked and a choir girl. No mention of being a home wrecker years ago. And as for the outspoken daughter ready to gather a mob and grab their pitch forks word around town is she doesn’t make some very good choices herself. No mention of her boyfriend who was charged in the large heroin ring bust last month. This story is getting tiresome.

  • john williams

    Great journalism. Story does not say what autopsy revealed cause of death was. Lots to this story we arent being told.

  • Jenson

    Gender bias

    What about the guy of neighborhood watch, that was actually helping the community and that was without a doubt murdered.

    This lady case only sounds like speculation and no actual evidence that she was murdered

  • Helpless

    This poor lady filled out a gun permit form if you did not take the time to watch the video. If we all took the time to make sure that our law abiding neighbors were trained in firearm safety and ownership in conjunction with the departments that we fund with our tax revenue? Maybe there would be less victims and more closed cases. I’m sorry for the loss of a great person in this circumstance, but it is time to face reality. You need to enact what this strong minded girl started and arm yourself out of personal defense. Who do the criminals target?

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