Philip Merrill was the 71 year old president and CEO of Capital-Gazette Communications, Inc., which publishes Washingtonian
magazine, the Annapolis Capital
, and five other Maryland newspapers.
On June 10th 2006, Mr Merrill's wife reported him missing when he failed to return from a days sailing in his boat, 'the Merrilly', on Chesapeake bay. The following day, the Merrilly was found floating 25 miles off the coast with its engine running. The first man on the scene reported that the boat was empty and that there was evidence of blood
on the deck. Mr Merrill's body was subsequently found floating in Chesapeake bay on June 19th. Police said that he had apparently died of a shotgun blast to the head, and deemed his death a suicide even before an autopsy has returned its findings and despite the fact that Mr Merrill's body was found with an anchor tied to his feet