Lakehead Man Arrested for Triple Homicide

On April 30th, 2024, Shasta County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 21000 block of Riverview Drive, in Lakehead, for a welfare check of a 75-year-old female identified as Pamela Castleberry. Deputies noticed the residence appeared to have been burglarized and evidence was located indicating Castleberry was missing under suspicious circumstances. During the investigation, deputies also learned Castleberry’s vehicle was missing from the residence. Due to the suspicious nature, detectives with the Major Crimes Unit responded and took over the investigation.

On May 1st, 2024, detectives learned about a suspicious vehicle, which was left abandoned in a remote area near Bella Vista, east of Redding. Detectives responded and identified the vehicle belonging to Castleberry. Detectives located Castleberry deceased inside the vehicle. An autopsy was later performed, and her cause of death was ruled a homicide.

On May 6th, 2024, Detectives responded back to the same area where Castleberry and her vehicle had been located for two additional deceased bodies. The two decedents were badly burned and were identified as 41-year-old Cynthia Duran and 48-year-old Louis Sanchez, both of Redding.

Autopsies were later conducted and the cause of death for both Duran and Sanchez was also ruled as homicide. Detectives had already checked the area on May 1st; therefore, it was determined the two additional homicides occurred after locating Castleberry and her vehicle.

During the investigation, detectives identified 33-year-old Michael Todd Merryman of Redding as a person of interest. As the investigation continued, detectives identified evidence connecting him to each of the homicides. Furthermore, detectives learned Merryman was on active parole for residential burglary and had an arrest warrant for a parole violation.

On May 13th, 2024, detectives learned Merryman was involved in a single vehicle traffic collision in the Oak Run area of Shasta County. Merryman was transported to a local area hospital where he was admitted and was receiving treatment for injuries sustained in the collision. Detectives later contacted Merryman at the hospital and placed him under arrest. Merryman remained hospitalized for treatment until he was medically cleared to be housed at the jail.

Detectives interviewed Merryman and he made admissions to all three homicides. Merryman has been booked into the Shasta County Jail on 3 counts of 187(a) PC – Murder with special circumstances and for his parole warrant. He is currently being held without bail and his arraignment is scheduled for Friday, May 24th, 2024, at 1:30 PM in the Shasta County Superior Court.

Based upon the information and circumstances known at this time, there is no risk to public safety and there are no outstanding suspects. Information as to motives, and other details about this investigation will not be released due to the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

Anyone who has information about this investigation is encouraged to contact the Shasta County Major Crimes Unit at 530-245-6135 or by email at [email protected]

Case Number: SCSO24-001743 / SCSO24-001833
Lieutenant Chris Edwards Investigations
530-245-6135 May 23rd, 2024


  1. wasn’t this a media release by the Shasta County Sheriff’s office?
    I am not seeing that this “article” written by the “author” shows that this was actually released by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department.

  2. Jairtzinio R Ortiz

    What they’re not covering is that he suffers from mental health illnesses, before he was released from prison he was on lithium which worked, but before his release, they took him off of it after that he started to become unstable and the new medication that they gave him was not working.

    he tried seeking help different treatment options, but the resources were just not available for him. Eventually, he became so unstable that he relapsed and then he was kicked out of recovery program so then he was homeless and a lot of the resources. There are also pretty horrible because a lot of the phone numbers for a lot of these shelters that are listed online aren’t even active numbers, and when he tried to go back into recovery, the they offered him was available in the next 2 1/2 weeks, which is about the timeframe that this happened.

    The system failed him California needs to do better. They need to do more for the homeless and for those suffering with mental health illnesses.

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