Merlin the emu still missing, owner believes he was abducted

Published: May 13, 2022 6:21 PM EDT

The mysterious disappearance of an emu from its Golden Gate Estates home is now being called an abduction by its owner.

Merlin vanished last month.

The search for Merlin continues but there is still lingering hope he will be found.

“He’s my baby. And you know, he is very special to us,” said Marcela Zurita, Merlin’s owner.

Zurita said she’s on full protective mom-mode with all her animals since Merlin’s been gone. She believes someone abducted him.

“We just want to let everyone know that we believe Merlin, that he was taken, he was abducted from our home. Not too far,” she said.

Zurita said the emu had a routine. And he should have been back by now.

“We can’t go into details in regards to case,” she said. “It’s just one of those things that we know our Merlin. And the fact that he was, he’s gone missing for so many days … He was taken, that’s for sure. Merlin, it’s not the kind of like the type of emu or animal that will hide in the woods or anything. And he loves people. He loves being around people.”

Zurita said she feels guilty for allowing Merlin to trust humans which may have gotten him in trouble.

“He knew that was his home. You know, he knew his house. He knew the animals. He knew the neighbors, the kids, you know, that’s why I kind of feel bad because I made him so friendly. You know, I thought you know, he was safe in our neighborhood.”

Zurtia said not knowing whether Merlin is still alive or why someone took him is devastating.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said detectives are investigating all possibilities.