Raymond Merrill was a gifted musician, composer and carpenter who, at 55 years of age, had accumulated some wealth through real estate and sound investments. His dream was to sell his California home and live off his accrued investments in a Latin American country where the US dollar would go far, where he could continue his passion for composing music and where by his side would be a lovely Latin American wife to share the good life.
Like many people looking for a partner, he turned to internet dating sites. Having a love for the Latino culture and its beautiful women, Raymond sought out the woman of his dreams on Latin Singles Internet sites.
On one such site, Raymond met an attractive Brazilian woman, Regina Filomena Crasovich Rachid. Regina presented herself to Raymond as a divorcee looking for a serious relationship that would lead to marriage.
Little did Raymond know that from the very beginning, Regina had no plans for romance and marriage with him or any other man.
Regina was a predatory criminal on a fishing expedition. Along with her accomplices, Nelson Siqueira Neves (Regina's real boyfriend), her daughter Ana Paula, and Evandro Celso Augusto Ribeiro, she planned to rob a wealthy man by luring him with the promise of love and marriage.
On March 22, 2006, Raymond took his third and fatal trip to Brazil believing that he was to marry Regina, who had insisted they get married on March 27th, Raymond's 56th birthday.
From March 25th until April 1st, Raymond was held captive in Regina's home, heavily drugged. In a drugged stupor, the passwords to his bank accounts were coerced from him. The criminals succeeded in draining his accounts of tens of thousand of dollars.
On April 1, 2006, Raymond was strangled with a copper wire. His corpse was driven about 25 miles outside Sao Jose dos Campos to an isolated dirt road by Regina and her accomplices, doused with diesel fuel and burnt to unidentifiable charred remains.
Little did Regina Rachid and her accomplices count on Raymond's very tenacious sister Marcia to doggedly pursue what happened to her brother and why he did not return to the US on April 4, 2006 as expected.
Through some fortuitous twists of fate and the dedicated collaborative work of Marcia, the FBI, the US Consulate and the Brazilian police, the mystery of what happened to Raymond James Merrill was solved.
But the story is far from over.
Two of the criminals, Regina Rachid and Evandro Ribeiro, are in custody and awaiting trial.
To make sure that justice is carried out to the fullest, Marcia has recently retained a Brazilian attorney to act as Assistant to the Prosecution in the upcoming trial.
Raymond's family and friends are making efforts for people to sign a petition that will go to Brazil demanding vindication for his murder.
This site will keep you informed of updates on the case and show you how you can help the cause of Justice4Raymond.
We thank you for visiting this site and hope you will add your voice.
Raymond's killers must pay for their crimes and the lives of other potential victims must be saved by educating people how to protect themselves from Internet predators.