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FBI Searching For Missing Maryland Mother Heather Grogg And Teen Danielle Tyler; Disappearance May Have Ties To Jonathan Riddle's Murder

TANEYTOWN, Md. (WJZ) -- The FBI and Maryland State Police are looking for two missing Maryland women who have ties to two men charged in the murder of a 33-year-old Carroll County man.

The FBI report missing 18-year-old Danielle Tyler and 33-year-old Heather Grogg could be traveling together and are "in danger." They were last seen in Carroll County on April 6.

The case is now getting national attention after authorities learned the two missing women had links to suspects recently arrested in the March 18 murder of Jonathan Riddle, also of Taneytown.

John Black III Monroe Merrell David Sanford Jr.
Three suspects arrested in the murder of Jonathan Riddle.

John Black III, Monroe Merrell and David Sanford, Jr. were all charged in early April for Riddle's kidnapping and brutal murder. A fourth person, Emily Day, was also recently charged in the murder, the Jefferson County Sheriff's office reported to WJZ.

According to the sheriff's office, Riddle's body was found burning near the woods in an extremely rural area of Rippon, West Virginia, by a passerby around 7:35 a.m. on the morning of March 18. Rippon is about 30 miles southwest of Frederick.

Police believe that Riddle was alive when he was taken to the rural area. A medical examiner determined Riddle died from multiple stab wounds and blows to the head, court documents show.

A Jefferson County sheriff's deputy learned a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu with Maryland plates 9BY0804 may be linked to the crime. That car was later located outside a Westminster home. Merrell, 22, was at the residence when police found it. According to the charging documents, Merrell seemed nervous and Holz saw a small cut on his right hand.

Trio Charged After Taneytown Man's Body Found On Fire In West Virginia, Police Say

The car was seized and police found a bloodstain on the passenger door.

According to court documents, Riddle went to Sanford's apartment on March 17 to allegedly meet Heather Grogg who was staying there. Grogg, a mother of four, was Sanford's live-in babysitter, according to Oxygen, which spoke with Grogg's sister.

It was there the victim reportedly got into an argument with Merrell. Police learned Riddle was stabbed twice inside the home then taken to West Virginia where he was allegedly stabbed again and set on fire. Sanford, who was arrested on April 9, and Merrell were both charged in Riddle's murder.

"I worry that maybe if she witnessed this or if she knows too much that's why she's in critical danger," Brandi Hebb, Grogg's sister told Oxygen. "It's not like her to drop off the face of the earth."

Danielle Tyler was dating Merrell, according to her grandmother, who also spoke to Oxygen. Tyler is a high school senior whose school went online in March following the coronavirus pandemic. Her grandmother last heard from her on April 6.

"I love her more than life itself," Sherry Tyler told Oxygen. "All she has to do is reach out and I will be there."

Missing Heather Grogg, Danielle Tyler
Heather Grogg and Danielle Tyler (left to right)

Tyler is 5-foot-3 and 110 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes. She has snake bite piercings on either side of her lower lip and a small nose ring in both sides of her nose. Known to wear wrist accessories bracelets hair ties, she always carries her backpack. She has a black one and red one. She carries her wallet, flat iron, makeup, etc.

Grogg is 5-foot-2 and 175 pounds with red or blonde hair with blue eyes. She has a lip piercing below her lower right lip.

Riddle is survived by his wife Diana, his stepchildren and parents.

Merrell was arrested on April 15 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He has not waived extradition and we are advised that his next court date is scheduled for May 18. Black was arrested on April 15 in Taneytown, Maryland.

On April 24, the sheriff's office arrested a fourth person, Emily Rose Day, in Westminster. Day is being charged as an accessory before and after the fact in Riddle's murder. She is currently being held in Maryland awaiting a court appearance to determine if she will waive extradition to West Virginia.

"This investigation is not over and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in coordination with other law enforcement agencies continues to follow leads in this case," said Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty.

In a statement, FBI Pittsburgh said it "works closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate threats to the community. The safety and welfare of those involved and the integrity of any investigation are always the first priorities for the FBI. At this time, we are not able to release any additional information. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of these two women is asked to call FBI Pittsburgh or local police. We do also want to assure the community that there is no wider threat to public safety at this time."

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the FBI's Pittsburgh Field Office at (412) 432-4000, your local FBI office, Maryland State Police, or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. You can also call 911.

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