Twin looks for 'missing puzzle' in Williams sister's disappearance
Two years after her disappearance, authorities and the family of a beloved Williams woman are still holding out hope she'll be located.
"There is someone out there that knows something and they hold the missing piece of the puzzle," Dana Gardner said.
Mericle and her twin sister Dana are the youngest of seven children originally from Georgia. Mericle went to school in Colorado for massage therapy and worked in that field in Oregon.
"She always had an adventurous spirit about her," Gardner said. "She's always been a singer. She's a musician. She found that part of herself out there."
Sgt. Jeff Proulx of the Oregon State Police said Mericle disappeared from the Williams area on March 2, 2017, and her red Isuzu Rodeo was found two and one-half months later in Grants Pass.
"It was parked on a side street," Proulx said. "It was sitting there for a couple of days but nothing out of the ordinary. She may have parked it there or someone else. We don't know."
They are asking the public to jog their memory and give authorities any information that might help with the investigations.
"Either she is alive and someone has seen her and knows where she is - so we can confirm that she is okay or if there was some foul play anyone with information should come forward," Proulx said.
Gardner said she kept in regular contact with her sister until she disappeared. Now she's organized her family and hired a private investigator to find Mericle.
"During the last two years before she disappeared she became dependent on Methamphetamines. That was through some bad decisions with people she found herself around," Gardner said.
Gardner said one of her last comments on Facebook mentioned she found a place that would take her into drug rehabilitation.
"She wanted nothing more than to get well for her son. She has a little boy Rowan who will be 12 soon," Gardner said. "She was terrified of leaving him forever."
Rowan is in custody of his father, who also lives in Williams, according to Gardner.
"She was living with a boyfriend that was on again, off again. But she was trying desperately to get into a rehabilitation facility," Gardner said.
Mericle is 46 and described to be approximately 5'3" and weighs roughly 120 pounds. She has brown, possibly chin length, hair with blue eyes.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call or text Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon at 1-800-850-0580 and refer to case number KTVL 03-19-19.
Depending on the case and the information is given, Crime Stoppers will pay a reward up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and filing of charges. Callers can remain anonymous. The reward is sponsored by Rogue Credit Union.
Additionally, her family has put up $25,000 reward for information leading to her return.
"We hope, beyond hope, that we get her back but not knowing is a different type of grief. You're hung up in limbo," Gardner said. "We love her dearly and we want her back."