• Glenda and Keith Merrill
  • Eric Merrill

Real Names: Eric, Glenda, and Keith Merrill
Case: Lost Siblings
Location: Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania
Date: September 1961


Details: Brenda Miller of Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania is searching for her brothers named Eric and Keith Merrill. In September 1961, Brenda's mother Betty Nickerson moved Brenda and her five siblings to a remote farmhouse outside of Larenceville. Brenda, who was only sixteen at the time, was forced to raise her five siblings after Betty decided to stay in town, where she had just purchased a restaurant. Betty told Brenda that she would have to quit school and raise the kids, otherwise they would be taken away. Brenda soon became the mother to Glenda, Keith, Butch, Linda, and Eric. They ranged in age from two to nine; sadly, Butch was deaf, and none of them, other than Brenda, had been to school. Betty never once visited the farmhouse. Brenda, however, tried to make the best of a bad situation. She made food, did the dishes, washed the children, and did other things a normal mother would do. Then, as winter came, Brenda was forced to hunt small game for food. During these times, Brenda missed the times she had with her friends, but found comfort with her siblings.

In Spring of 1962, the siblings' fuel ran out, so Brenda cut down the kid's tire swing, cut it up, and put it in the fireplace. However, the second floor of the farmhouse was engulfed in flames and completely destroyed. However, this was a blessing in disguise for Brenda. Betty finally took her children in; Betty's boyfriend believed that the three youngest children were actually Brenda's. A few weeks later, Brenda and her boyfriend married and moved to Corning, New York, taking Eric with them. Betty sent Linda to live with a family across the street. Butch was enrolled in a special school for the deaf. Glenda and Keith were sent to live with an acquaintance of Betty's.
A week later, Brenda and her new husband took Eric to visit Glenda and Keith; she was horrified by their living conditions. The room was dirty and infested with cockroaches; the children were sleeping on a blanket on the floor. Brenda took the children to Betty and Betty's boyfriend finally learned that all the children were actually Betty's. Betty notified the child welfare department; Glenda and Keith were then put into foster care. Brenda never saw them again. A week later, Brenda was forced to turn Eric over to foster care as well. She also saw never Eric again.
Thirty years later, Brenda was reunited with her sister Linda and her brother Butch. However, their younger siblings, Eric, Glenda, and Keith, are still missing. She hopes to make peace with her mother if her younger siblings can as well.

  • Keith reunited with his family
  • Eric reunited with his family

Extra Notes: This segment was featured as part of the December 9, 1992 episode. For unknown reasons, Glenda Merrill is not mentioned in the update, although it can be presumed that she was also found.
Results: Solved. Brenda's brother Keith Robinson was located thanks to the broadcast and they were reunited a few weeks later. Eric Nickerson was located a few months later and the family was completely reunited, including their mother, whom the children forgave for what she did to them.
Links: None

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