“Four years ago, on July 18, 2014, Dan was brutally assassinated in his driveway in the prime of his life,” said the statement from Orin Snyder, attorney for Ruth and Phil Markel. “On the anniversary of this tragedy, Dan’s parents, Ruth and Phil Markel, remain in agony. Their only son was stolen from them. They have since been denied any relationship with Dan’s two young boys, their beloved grandsons—an unimaginable cruelty. Despite these tragedies, the Markels are hopeful that the coming year will see all those responsible for Dan’s murder apprehended and brought to justice.”
Markel and his ex-wife Wendi Adelson were embroiled in a bitter custody dispute at the time of his murder. Investigators believe that Adelson’s family paid for hit men to commit the murder so that the children could move to South Florida, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Several charges have been made in relation to Markel’s murder. One of the two hit men who killed him, Luis Rivera, pled guilty to second-degree murder; he implicated Adelson in a police interview.
The other hit man, Sigfredo Garcia, had a more direct connections to the Markel family: He has two children with Katherine Magbanua, who was dating Adelson’s brother Charles at the time of Markel’s murder. Charles Adelson had joked about putting out a hit on Markel.
Both Magbanua and Garcia were charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy, and solicitation of murder; Magbauna pleaded not guilty. Garcia is set for trial in July, and Magbanua is scheduled for October.
This story "Dan Merkel’s Parents Release Statement On His Murder" was written by Juliana Kaplan.