SANDY SPRINGS, GA (CBS46) Family and friends attended the funeral of Shirley Merritt on Tuesday morning. Police say they are still searching for her killer, who is believed to be her son, Richard Merritt. --- the mother of Richard Merritt – who police are still searching for.

There were many hugs and tears at H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel in Sandy Springs where the funeral of 77-year-old Shirley was held.

Her son remains on the run after police say he stabbed her to death.

One neighbor says it’s been shocking for the whole community who knew her.

“I always look at the house and just say, I still can’t believe this happened to her,” said Michael Lowry, “Yeah, very sick.”

Disbarred lawyer, Richard Merritt, was on bond in Cobb County for various charges for stealing settlement money from clients. The Cobb County District Attorney says his mother had previously posted his bond and allowed him to live with her for approximately a year without incident.

“He got sentenced to 30 years with 15 to serve for his Cobb County charges, so he’s already looking at 15 years plus the new murder charge,” said Supervisory Inspector Frank Lempka, with the U.S. Marshals Service.

Instead of surrendering to serve his sentence, he cut his ankle monitor off and has been on the run since.

“We are going through a bunch of leads and tips, and trying to figure out where he is, but he could be anywhere at this point,’ added Lempka, “It’s not necessarily as easy as the movies make it look like, tracking that kind of stuff down.”

Friends and family declined to comment as they’re still in shock, but say they’re hopeful Richard Merritt is found soon.

“He’s very dangerous, because he killed his mother, so that tells you no one is safe to him, so even if he reaches out to someone who’s been friends with him his whole life, he could use them, then do the same thing to them,” Lempka added.

“Just total shock that that would have happened, her own son, who she took in to help out, would murder her, steal all her assets, and take off,” Lowry said.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Richard Merritt, contact your local police department.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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