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Mysterious Death and Explicit Photos Unfold in California: The Jade Janks Case

In a shocking turn of events in Encinitas, California, a tragic mystery surrounding the death of Tom Merriman and the discovery of explicit photos has taken center stage. The case has captured the attention of the public, shedding light on a chilling series of events that has led to a murder trial for Jade Janks, Merriman’s stepdaughter.

The story began on December 15, 2020, when Tom Merriman was admitted to Scripps Hospital after a fall in his home. Two weeks later, Merriman was found dead under a mound of trash in his own driveway. A seemingly ordinary family connection took a dark turn as the details unfolded.

Jade Janks, who had known Merriman since she was 14, described their relationship as close, akin to father and daughter. She had moved next door to Merriman during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, on December 23, 2020, while Merriman was in a rehab center, Janks made a chilling discovery that would change the course of their relationship.

Cleaning Merriman’s apartment, Janks was shocked when a computer monitor displayed explicit photos of herself. She soon found hundreds of such images, some organized into folders with explicit names. These photos were taken consensually with former partners and were never shared with Merriman. Janks described the experience as “the most violating, awful, gut-wrenching feeling ever.”

Fearing for her safety, Janks reached out to a man named Alan Roach, a security professional, who had offered to help her with her problem. Their correspondence soon moved off social media and was later scrutinized by law enforcement.

The case took a sinister turn when a friend of Janks, Adam Siplyak, called the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department on New Year’s Day 2021, stating that Janks might have killed her stepfather and asked for his help in moving the body. This call led investigators to search for Tom Merriman, but he was not found. On January 2, 2021, Detective Rosa Patron discovered Merriman’s lifeless body outside his home, leading to Janks’ arrest and subsequent charges of first-degree murder.

Janks pleaded not guilty, maintaining that Merriman’s death was a result of his poor health and off-label use of prescription drugs. She claimed that she had tried to help him but panicked when he passed away, leading her to conceal his body.

Prosecutors, however, pointed to text messages exchanged between Janks and Roach, particularly a message where Janks mentioned dosing Merriman. These texts raised questions about the events leading up to Merriman’s death.

The murder trial commenced in December 2022, nearly two years after Merriman’s body was discovered. Despite her defense, Janks faced compelling evidence from her texts with Roach, which prosecutors referred to as “The Fixer.” Roach was not charged in connection with Merriman’s death.

As the trial unfolded, the unsettling case of Jade Janks and Tom Merriman gripped the nation, raising questions about the truth behind Merriman’s death and the chilling discovery of explicit photos. The verdict remains uncertain, but the tale of this twisted family connection continues to captivate audiences across the country.


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