Details of Disappearance
William was last seen at his parents' house on a twenty-acre property in the 11300 block of Phelps Road in East Jordan, Michigan on June 16, 2006. He had an apartment in Hudsonville, Michigan, but was staying in his parents' house for the summer. He has never been heard from again. William wasn't reported missing until September 2006. His vehicle was left behind at his parents' home, and his bank accounts haven't been accessed since his disappearance. William's mother died in a car accident on June 11, five days before his disappearance, and his father died on October 30, four months later.
Charles Curtis "Chuck" Merriman, William's brother, was charged with his murder in August 2007. Authorities believe he wrapped William's body in garbage bags and had it taken to a landfill. Charles hadn't been employed in decades and William threatened to evict him from their parents' residence unless he found a job. When authorities searched the house in October 2006, they found blood inside. A sanitation company had removed furniture, carpet and trash from the home in July. Investigators found a cushion from the home in a landfill in Pinconning, Michigan; it was stained with William's blood. Charles was convicted of second-degree murder in May 2008 and sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.
William lived alone at the time of his disappearance, and owned a silk-screening business. Foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.