Columbus police: Warrant issued for suspect in Lakebottom homicide

Columbus police have issued a warrant for a suspect in the Tuesday night stabbing death of Michael Crowley.

Police are looking for 29-year-old Mark Merritt, believed to be from the Atlanta area, Lt. John McMichael said. Merritt is wanted for murder and theft by taking an automobile, he said.

McMichael said Crowley's car was recovered in Cobb County and showed signs that someone attempted to burn it. Atlanta agencies are assisting Columbus police in their investigation.

Columbus police found 53-year-old Crowley dead in his home at 1515 18th Ave. about 7 p.m. Tuesday after a relative asked officers to check on him. They found his body in the kitchen with multiple stab wounds, investigators said. Deputy Coroner Charles Newton pronounced Crowley dead at 9:22 p.m.

According to police reports, Crowley was killed sometime after 5:30 p.m. Monday.

A Georgia Department of Corrections offender database shows that Crowley served time from Nov. 9, 2004, to March 17, 2005, having been convicted in Fulton County of credit card theft, credit card fraud, and possession of methamphetamine.