Ohio suspect joined search for girl found slain
By The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, 8:48 p.m.
WOOSTER, Ohio — A man accused of killing a 9-year-old neighbor and hiding her body in a trash bin had been building a snowman with her just hours before she was reported missing, investigators said on Monday.
Jerrod Metsker, 24, was the last person seen with the girl at the trailer park where they lived, a sheriff's investigator said. He later joined neighbors and relatives in a search for her, a neighbor said.
Metsker was arrested Sunday, about 12 hours after deputies found second-grader Reann Murphy's body. A judge ordered him held in jail on a $1 million bond after his appearance in court on an aggravated-murder charge.
Investigators with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office described Metsker as a family friend and neighbor. Capt. Douglas Hunter said Metsker has a “diminished mental capacity,” but he wouldn't release information about a specific diagnosis.
People who live in the trailer park said Metsker would play outside with the neighborhood children and built a playhouse out of blankets alongside his home, where he'd spend time with youngsters less than half his age.
Reann and her mother had just moved into the trailer park a few months ago, about the beginning of the school year, relatives said. They lived in an apartment above a maintenance garage at the park outside Smithville, 30 miles southwest of Akron.
The girl's mother was at work on Saturday afternoon while she was at home with her mother's live-in boyfriend, Hunter said. She went outside to play in the snow and was with several other children in the trailer park's courtyard, but the others went home, leaving Metsker alone with her, he said.
Reann was reported missing on Saturday evening, about two hours after she was last seen with Metsker, Hunter said. Police officers, firefighters and neighbors went door to door looking for her. Her body was found buried under trash five hours after she was reported missing.
Metsker took part in the search, neighbor Judy Jarvis said.
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.
- Powerful quake shakes N. California; no injuries
- Climate contraptions get real consideration
- Scientists: Test West Coast for Fukushima radiation
- D.C. cherry bloom peak forecast for April 8-12
- Climate contraptions get real consideration
- ‘Holy grail of guitars’ for sale in April auction
- Kansas public school funding unconstitutional
- Officer among 3 men killed in Ohio club shooting
- Taxpayers’ tab for ex-Detroit mayor’s defense: nearly $814K
- Economists explain why Fed’s taper could spark market meltdown
- Advocacy group tied to Facebook founder targets GOP on immigration