Police: Ohio man used playpen bag to carry teen's body, found later in Mercer Co. landfill
CLEVELAND — An Ohio man charged with killing a teenage girl stuffed her body in a playpen bag and carried it past her mother — even offering the woman a chance to “buy a baby thing” — before disposing of the remains in the trash, police said.
Ricki D. Williams IV, 18, of Youngstown, was held without bond after a court hearing Wednesday in the June 23 death of 16-year-old Gina Burger. Investigators said he confessed to killing the girl, whose body was found in a Pennsylvania landfill two days later.
Burger was stabbed inside an apartment at a complex in the Youngstown suburb of Austintown where she lived with her mother, police said. Another woman helped Williams dispose of the body under threat of death, according to police.
Williams is charged with aggravated murder and kidnapping. More charges are expected, said Austintown Police Chief Robert Gavalier. It is unclear if Williams had an attorney.
Jaqueline Bacher reported her daughter missing around 11 p.m. on June 23, three hours after Burger had left their apartment to borrow bags for iced tea.
A police report said Bacher told officers that while she waited outside for an officer to take a missing person's report, she saw Williams walk out of another apartment struggling to carry what appeared to be a bag used to store a portable playpen.
Bacher told police that Williams asked her if she “wanted to buy a baby thing.” An officer soon arrived and Bacher did not see what Williams did with the bag, the police report said. She said she saw what appeared to be the same bag in a trash container outside the apartment complex the next day.
A worker found Burger's body June 25 at a landfill in Mercer County, about 45 miles north of Pittsburgh.
On June 26, police went to the apartment of a woman Burger sometimes visited. A manager of the complex let them inside and police discovered blood stains throughout the house.
Investigators found the woman who lived in the apartment the next day. She told officers she helped Williams dispose of Burger's body in the bag for her son's playpen after Williams threatened to kill her.
The woman said Williams forced her and Burger into the woman's bedroom and allowed them to smoke a “last cigarette,” the police report said. Williams then tried to force the woman to stab Burger. When she refused, Williams grabbed the knife and stabbed the teen once in the chest, the report said.
A fugitive task force from the U.S. Marshal's Office found Williams on Tuesday evening in Youngstown and arrested him.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2001 same-sex union recognized despite partner’s death
- Evidence for charge not found in Pa. case
- Lawrence power plant being converted to gas from coal
- Pennsylvania Senator Casey pushes for railroad bridge inspectors
- Va. trucker hit Mega Millions jackpot in Pa.
- Medical pot has advocate in Pennsylvania House
- Probe continues in fatal shooting in Sharon hospital parking lot
- Feds accuse Philadelphia congressman Fattah of corruption
- Pa. man gets life in prison for girlfriend’s ‘obscene’ slaying