Photo: Jim Sitton with his daughter Makayla.
"I'm elated that the monster is in the cage," Sitton told The Palm Beach Post. "It doesn't bring my daughter back, but at least this chapter is over."
After a month-long manhunt, Paul Merhige was booked early Sunday at the Palm Beach County jail without bond on four charges of murder. He's accused of gunning down his twin sisters, a 79-year-old aunt and 6-year-old cousin Makayla in Jupiter.
Photo: Paul Merhige.
Makayla's father tells The Palm Beach Post that his family had police protection while Merhige eluded capture at a hotel in the Florida Keys.
Merhige's cover was blown when the hotel owners recognized him in a preview for the television show "America's Most Wanted" on Saturday night.
Photo: Makayla Sitton.
Still, Jim Sitton says he feared that Merhige could "get to us before the cops were out of their cars."
Now Sitton says he feels safe enough to unload his shotgun.
The Palm Beach Post reported that Merhige remained silent at his first court appearance Sunday. He was assigned a public defender, and an arraignment is set for Feb. 1.
MORE ON CRIMESIDER
November 30, 2009 - "Sweet" Makayla Sitton (Photos): Paul Michael Merhige Still on Run in Thanksgiving Massacre
November 27, 2009 - Paul Michael Merhige Kills Three Women, Little Girl in Thanksgiving Massacre, Say Florida Police