She has four children to whom she has no custodial rights. He has two convictions for domestic violence.
And Lima, Ohio, police say the six are headed toward Florida.
In a Tuesday morning Facebook post, the Lima Police Department said Marianne Merritt, 40, abducted the four children and is headed to Florida with Charles Perkins, who turns 40 next week. The post describes Perkins as “abusive towards children” and “armed and dangerous.”
Lima police say they’re in a dark blue 2000 Chrysler Voyager with a white passenger door, Ohio license plate No. FMQ3175. Tuesday afternoon, Lima police said they’re “focused on Daytona as a possible destination.”
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In the car are two adults with a long list of convictions. Under the name of Marianne Gregg and in Michigan’s Ashtabula County, Merritt was sentenced to prison on two counts of child endangerment in 2001.
The online case docket’s sentencing portion says, “The victim suffered serious physical harm, injury was exacerbated by the age of the victim, who was 2 years old and the son of the (defendant). (Defendant) showed no genuine remorse.”
The day after that criminal case was filed, online court records say Eric Merritt filed for divorce. Neither he nor the son Marianne Merritt endangered are involved in this case.
Marianne Merritt has been married at least once since then, to the father of the two oldest children with her now. Online records say she lived for at least seven years, 2010-2017, with Robert Wilson. Wilson just got sentenced to 20 years in prison on one count of rape and four counts of sexual battery. Online records say Wilson’s victim was under 13.
It’s unclear where the children were when Merritt kidnapped them.
Perkins has two domestic violence convictions and one for telephone harassment. He also has relatives in Kentucky, Georgia and North Carolina.
The six in the car are:
▪ Marianne Merritt, 40, white, red hair, green eyes, 5-foot-5, 210 pounds.
▪ Charles Perkins, 39, white, brown hair, brown eyes, 5-foot-5, 164 pounds.
▪ Damara Croley, 13, white, brown hair, blue eyes, 5-foot-3, last seen wearing a red Ohio State University shirt and Spider-Man pants with a web design.
▪ Benjamin Karl-Leland Croley, 12, white, blond hair, blue eyes, 5-foot-1. Last seen wearing yellow smiley face pants.
▪ Patience Wilson, 9, white, blonde hair, blue eyes, 4-foot-5. Last seen wearing white top and dark blue or black leggings.
▪ Damien Wilson, 8, white, blond hair, blue eyes, 4-foot-5. Last seen wearing blue short and red and black shorts.