Local Newsman’s Daughter Murdered at Thanksgiving Gathering

By Chris Ariens 

For those who work in TV news, especially the reporters and photographers who hit the streets covering their cities, there is often a desensitization to the events they cover. But for one photojournalist from the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, the news hit home in the most overwhelming and tragic way Thursday night when his 6-year-old daughter was murdered in her bed. Makayla Sitton was one of four family members killed by a disgruntled relative during a Thanksgiving gathering.

Longtime WPTV photojournalist Jim Sitton hosted Thanksgiving dinner at his home in Jupiter, FL. Seventeen family members attended, including the suspect, who left the dinner only to return, armed with a handgun.

35-year-old Paul Michael Merhige is accused of killing Makayla, his aunt 76-year-old Raymonde Joseph, and his twin sisters Carla Merhige and Lisa Knight, who was pregnant. A fifth victim, Lisa’s husband Patrick Knight was shot and is being treated at a hospital.

Yesterday, Jim Sitton mustered the courage and spoke to his station, and others, about his daughter, Makayla.

“I just want to let everyone know that she’s in heaven,” said Sitton. “We know where she is, and that’s the only reason I can stand here today. God has blessed us with a beautiful little girl and he just took her home.”

Police are still searching for the suspect.