More information has been released surrounding the arrest of Edward Mero on murder charges in connection with the deaths of Shelby Countermine and Megan Cunningham. Jorja Roman reports.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- An Albany man has been arraigned on two murder counts, accused in the deaths of two women in separate incidents. He is also charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence.
Edward Mero, 29, is accused of killing Megan Cunningham in 2013 and killing Shelby Countermine in 2014.
“Edward Mero became a person of interest early on in the case and a suspect later on,” said Captain Robert Patnaude with the New York State Police. “When we found out both victims were linked to Edward Mero, we worked together to bring Mr. Mero to justice.”
Cunningham's body was found inside a home in Albany after it had caught fire in January 2013. The fire was ruled accidental. It wasn't until May 2015, when Countermine's body was found in a shallow grave in Coeymans, that police took another look at the fatal fire.
Mero had been in contact with Countermine before she went missing from Schenectady in 2014. He was also Cunningham's roommate.
“As a result of identifying Mr. Mero as a person of interest, the investigators looked into his background, and it turned out that just by doing a Google search, you find that he was listed as having been in a residence which was a place where a person was found dead as a result of a fire,” said PJ Mckenna with the Coeymans Police Department.
The indictment unsealed in Albany County Court on Monday alleges Mero caused the death of Countermine on December 3, 2014, and the death of Cunningham on January 27, 2013. Cheryl Coleman, Mero’s defense attorney, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. She feels the case has already been compromised because information regarding his charges was reported in some media outlets before the indictment was unsealed.
“I'm concerned that somebody out there wearing a badge doesn't care what information is going to go out and what information isn't supposed to,” said Coleman.
Investigators say they are confident these cases are solved.
“We hope the arrest brings closure to the family and friends of the victims. I know it brings closure to us,” said Patnaude.
Police say Mero used to work for the City of Albany Water Department, but has been on leave since May 2015, when Countermine’s body was found.
Mero's attorney plans to file a motion to have the case separated into two cases. Mero was sent to Albany County Jail without bail.
Investigators are asking anyone with information on these cases to contact them, as the investigation is ongoing.