24-Year-Old Neighbor Arrested in 9-Year-Old’s Murder

Posted on: 8:09 am, December 15, 2013, by and , updated on: 01:08pm, December 15, 2013

WOOSTER, Ohio –  Authorities in Wayne County have confirmed to FOX 8 News that a person is in custody in the case of a nine-year-old girl found murdered in a dumpster.

According to Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson, Jerrod Metsker, 24, was arrested around 1:00 p.m. Sunday at his residence and is being held behind bars. Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Lutz says he expects Metsker will be charged with aggravated murder in the morning.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department said Metsker was a neighbor of the victim and knew her and her family. Lutz said the suspect and the victim had been seen together.

The body of Reann Murphy was discovered inside of a dumpster near her home in Smithville early Sunday morning.

Reann Murphy (Courtesy: Wayne Co Sheriff Dept.)

Reann Murphy (Courtesy: Wayne Co Sheriff Dept.)

Around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to her home in the Smithville mobile home park along Akron Road to investigate her disappearance.

Murphy was last seen at 5:30 p.m playing outdoors in the community area within the park.

Local first responders and sheriff deputies began to search the area and made the discovery at 1:35 a.m.

“Any violent death is troubling but the death of a child is much more so. We will leave no stone unturned as this investigation continues,” Sheriff Hutchinson pronounced.

Wayne County deputies along with members of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Unit had been on scene since early Sunday.

*CLICK to see a vigil in Reann’s honor*

Dan Winterich, BCI Special Agent Supervisor, told FOX 8 there are about 15 to 20 trailers housed inside the park. According to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, the dumpster was in the middle of the courtyard where the trailers are located.

Winterich said they are helping the Wayne County Sheriff deputies interview those who live there to find out if they saw or heard anything Saturday night.

The girl’s body has been removed from the scene by the Wayne County Coroner’s office. An autopsy will be done in Summit County, which will help tell officials how she died.

Authorities did not comment on the manner of her death or the evidence collected.

“She was a wonderful kid.  I mean she was playful.  She’d never — all she did was love people,” said Richard Murphy, Reann’s father.

Murphy last talked to his daughter Thursday. He had hoped to see her this weekend before moving out of state.

“I want the worst for the guy, but it’s still not going to bring back my daughter,” said Murphy.

Stay with FOX 8 News and FOX8.com for the very latest on this developing story.


  • i am so sorry for her family my prayers go out to them that brings tears to your eyes when they find him don’t give him a chance just kill him or or her or whoever did this this world is becoming so cruel

  • Catherine Hauter says:

    Prayers for comfort go out to this family

  • Trisha says:

    Prayers to the family, so very sad!!

  • Christine Ogint says:

    Breaks my heart that someone would do this to a child, let alone a humun being…Such a tragedy. Thoughts & prayers to her family.

  • my thought is find this scum then let the people know who it is then stand him out on a street corner and let us know what corner it is and we will take care of it we dont need no judge jury or court system let the people handle it prayers to the family

    • Daniel M. says:

      it has been said the man is autistic/mentally challenged. Although that in no way excuses his actions. but is vigilante murder really the answer?

      • Shelly Stow says:

        No, Daniel, it is not. Those who bully and bluster and scream for vengeance are invariably those who have no claim or right to demand vengeance on behalf of the injured. They are just, as you suggested, vigilantes who, by their words, prove themselves to be as much a criminal as those they rail against.

      • Jay W says:

        sorry Daniel but hell yes!

      • Daniel M. says:

        you guys with all the hatred comments are no better than the man who committed this crime. ironically alot of “christians” are commenting hatred. the man was mentally disabled. not an excuse, but he will pay for his crimes with or without your hate. the justice system (which is pathetic) will do their part to the fullest extent, and ultimately his soul will pay the price for this aswell. Dont you know that your thoughts are just the same as his actions in the eyes of God?

      • JustMe says:

        No, it’s not. However, if he’s guilty, the death penalty may just be the most appropriate punishment. He obviously is too dangerous to be let out into society. Keeping him in a cage the rest of his life does no one any good and there is a risk he could get out and kill again. Some people lack basic human characteristics like compassion. When they are dangerous, they have to be put down. If he were a rabid dog, the compassionate thing to do would be to put him down. It would also be the safest thing for society.

  • Tina says:

    Let’s hope like in so many other cases they don’t find out that it was a pedophile that was let out once again!

    • Shelly Stow says:

      This is a totally unnecessary comment. First, the majority of sexual offenders who are released and are living in the community do not re-offend. Secondly, the dear child was murdered; nothing yet suggests that a sexual assault was an element in the crime. Statistics show that murder is an element in less than 1% of sexual crimes. Generally it is better to wait until facts are verifiable before speculating.

      • Shelly Stow says:

        AND, if it was a sexual crime, almost all sexual offenses are committed by those not on the registry.

      • Cookie says:

        I don’t know where you get your facts from Shelly, but a good portion of sexual offenders “DO” re-commit sexual crimes after being released!

      • WOW where have you been? Sexual offenders and pedophiles do re offend are you not watching the news? Check out Florida how many do re-offend. They do and they kill come on if your gonna say something get the facts! I have the facts because I work with law enforcement in Florida and I see this daily. Get your facts right before you condemn somebody else or tell them they are wrong!

      • Stephen says:

        Ok bc the last statistics i had in front of me 80 to 95% of offenders re offend so plz enlighten us to where your “statistics” came from…

  • Alice says:

    May God be there to guide this family through this very difficult time. Comfort and help them through the days to come. I pray that find who done this to this child. RIP

  • Jen says:

    My prayers go out to the family

  • Barbara Ford Malkowski says:

    People have no religion or God in their life anymore because of so called, “political correctness”, this world had become so violent. It was not like this when I grew uup. I pray for the families who lost their lives ones to tea a tradgedy. Hopefully, they can find who is responsible and make him accountable. No human has a right to take a life.

    • Debra says:

      It happened in the past–we didn’t have media like we do now. Where was your god before this child was killed?

      • Baginja says:

        You say where was your god (correction God, it is his name) before the girl was murdered?…God had nothing to do with a person with a free will and sin in his heart to do this awful thing. God did not make this person do this. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us Gods plans for us…Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…. The man was given to his sin and he CHOSE to commit the crime. God did not! God was there with open arms to bring her into heaven and make the wrong, right again. This was sick and I pray the family has healing and peace. I hope the man has repentance and under stands what he has done. As far as him being DD their bill of rights says (by the way they have 24 more rights than the average person) They are to be treated like everyone else. So be it!

  • DONNA says:

    I hope he is arrested quickly.

  • This just breaks my heart. She is just baby. May God be with the parents and friends. I hope they catch whom ever did it and give him the death penalty.

  • lou says:

    Smithville is a small community, Shouldn’t take long to find the person or persons responsible. R.I.P. little one! Prayers are with the family.

  • Amanda says:

    I do hope this monster is caught and put away/put down. I hope the family can come together and find support in each others arms. This is close to home and very scary. We all need to watch out for one another.

  • Nicole says:

    Prayers to the family, be at peace now little one. Parents need to protect children as much as possible.

  • Barbara R. says:

    My condolences to the family and friends of this angel girl – may they find peace and comfort in their faith. Nothing more can really be said when it is the loss of a child.

    • tressa says:

      this is so sad my thoughts and prays goes out to the family. it just goes to show that you cant let youre kids out side to play. cuz you just don’t know whats out their walking around. rip baby girl

  • eblock says:

    Poor baby,God rest your soul baby,SMDH.

  • P says:

    That poor child ,I pray for her family ,what a senseless act ,I hope the responsible person is arrested and sent away ! Our children can’t even play without perverts lurking !

  • Christine Lindblom says:

    I know what it feels to lose a child. I lost my son ten years ago and it feels just as raw today as it did then. We never get over losing our children but we can live on with help and support of God, loving family, and good friends…

    Rest In Peace Sweet Angel Reann in God’s loving arms

  • Kim Tooley says:

    they say they arrested the Moms boyfriend for this!

  • Sarah says:

    Very sad. This just shows that no one is ever safe even when ur in ur own neighborhood. My prayers are w the family and w that lil angel may u rest in peace and lets not make that monster famous.

  • stephanie says:

    Prayers for the family of this little girl….no parent should have to go threw this….as for the POS that did this…take him out back of that trailer park and hang him….
    jail is too good for these people….bullets and rope is cheaper!

  • Sue Cox says:

    I would be curious to know just what this 9yr old child did to deserve being murdered.

  • Norma Matthews says:

    How does people watch this that live in another stat? can they just go to the fox * Cleveland website???? Please help me answer this before @30.

  • Kim Tooley says:

    I am from that area…I moved to TN a couple yrs ago and still have family and friends there…and you can watch live from the Foxnews website

  • Anita Myers says:

    so sad. hope whoever did this is caught and punished to the max

  • Alli says:

    My prayers go out to the family and the community as for those of you questioning GOD there is a reason for everything you do not know all the details. Our nation has this all wrong GOD does not answer to us we answer to him. GOD loves that precious little child and she is in his arms now! Rest in peace sweet girl!

    • Mark says:

      I understand your point, and my thoughts are with the family. I offer my sincerest condolences to all that were affected by this tragedy. I was not questioning god at all. I simply meant that if the god you refer to does exist, and I am convinced it does not, then why would any rational person offer prayers and expect intervention from a force that obviously cares nothing about the welfare of the many children who suffer and die every day. It is not the lack of faith that has this planet in the state it’s in, but rather it is the blind following of it. Instead of putting faith in a mythical father figure and then leaving the results to “his will”, perhaps we, as a society, need to take responsibility for our own actions and take care and look out for one another. And if the result is “his will, and he will do as he pleases anyway, the point of praying is what? Anything other than taking care of ourselves and each other is a self-serving cop out.

      • cindy says:

        This is perfect!!! I couldn’t have said it any better myself….

      • Kathy Hamilton says:

        I will pray for your soul also Mark. May God Bless you and open your eyes to see that “he” God if you are not understanding yet. God has a plan for everything that happens. We may not understand it all the time BUT ALL THINGS THAT HAPPEN ARE GOD’S WILL. I will keep you in my prayer’s Mark

    • Sue Cox says:

      You have that right.

  • Sarah says:

    Just because there was a quick arrest does not mean he was the one to commit the crime. The body is being sent to Summit county for autopsy reports. I think we should leave our accusations out until then. We are all so quick to judge just because he knew the little girl does not mean he did it.

  • Heather Dye Allen says:


    this is a legitimate collection for the family to bury their baby girl. Even $1 will help make a difference. I can’t imagine what the family is going through and praying for them so much.

  • Lyssa says:

    heard it was a 24 autistic male who lived in the trailer park

    • Sharon Ulman says:

      Autistic male? So was the shooter in Newtown, CT. Wonder how many other children in the trailer park this guy has to tried to harm? Is it my imagination or is he wearing lipstick?

      • Sarah says:

        “Typical male”? So were all those other murderers. Let’s not create stereotypes that don’t exist. All it serves to do is incite violence against ALL spectrum people including my INNOCENT 6 yr old. Think before you speak. You were given a brain for a reason!

  • Roger Stinchcomb says:

    We live in Wooster. My 10 year old was playing out side by herself (with our 2 dogs) on Saturday for over an hour making a snowman. This could have been my baby girl. God please be with this family during this time!

  • Sharon says:

    The best thing we can do is not point fingers and pray. This family is hurting!!!!

  • so where is the press conference you say we can see at 2:30

  • Tina Arthur says:

    Where can we see the press conference?

  • joann lemmon says:

    my prays are with you ,no parent should ever have to bury a child an in this case how very sad god bless the family.

  • Where is the link to the press conference … Says right on the story you can see it live here… A lot of people are wanting to see this!!!

  • Cheri says:

    I think people need to leave this family alone until all facts are known…. it is not completely dark until 6pm I know I let my kids out to play till 6…. and there comes a point where a child needs to know more freedom and that a parent trusts them. She was 9 for crying out loud most kids now days are allowed out until 7-8pm playing at that age. Leave this poor family alone and pray for them not judge and point fingers…. It is time like these that we should be pulling together and praying together!!!

  • Karen tester says:

    This is so disheartening .. Feel so bad for all who knew and loved this little girl.. ;( everyone needs to remember.. Monsters don’t just live in our dreams, they are among us! We live in a world where we HAVE to watch our children closely… I’d rather be over protective anyday than to be in a news story.. Many prayers to all involved.. And whatever kind of monster done this disgusting act, one can only hope u don’t get life, but have ur taken, just as you done this precious little girl…

  • Lori Neal says:

    Go to newsnet.com for better video feed than wkyc

  • Lyssa says:

    go all the way 2 the bottom n click on live streaming under on-air but its not playing

  • Brea says:

    NewsNet5 has it live

  • casandea says:

    Wow people today..the parents just lost they lil girl an all you can donis talk down…I let my kids play outside at 530.. this does notb mean your a bad parent norb your falt…kids should be aloud to be kids she was 9 not 5…who ever did this needs to pay bad…R.I.P lil angel an prayers for family. .ignore ignorance on here that’s just bs

  • wanda says:

    I hope and pray they find the s.o.b. they should let the family do to them, what they did to her. prayers going out to the family. may god be with

  • Pamela says:

    My sister lives two doors down from the kilker hes handicap but it still doesnt give him the right to kill. Also the little girls mom was working but the step dad was home he used a phone to call the mom

  • Jodi says:

    Very disappointed in Fox 8 cause they did not have it live.

  • Tina says:

    I really hope the right person gets a hold of him in jail and gives him what he deserves for hurting an innocent child.

  • Deena says:

    My sympathies to the family of this little angel. You are in my prayers.

  • Steven says:

    I still cannot find a video of the live conference, and I couldn’t find a link to stream the video either…. Hoping it gets put up on the site.

  • Lisa says:

    you can’t send your kids to school because they are not able to protect them anymore against all these crazy people out there…you can’t let them out to play alone…parents need to watch out for eachother and protect our kids.it’s a different time now not like when we were kids and were out till after dark.these situations are going to keep happening you need to protect your kids keep them supervised

  • Nicole says:

    I hope I never experience what these parents are feeling. I read similar stories a lot, and honestly a lot of ppl doing these things are always labeled as mentally handicapped. I wonder how many actulally are handicapped. There has to be some level of mental retardation to harm children. Why was a mentally ill individual allowed to be alone around children. People must have known something, even if it was his own parents. Maybe he watched the child more or showed more interest in her. She probably was aware of him as a friend if she left without screaming. I wonder of this would have happened if her mother was home and my at work. I only say that because I watch my Children like a hawk as opposed to my husband. I def would not have taken 3 hrs to notice her missing. That alarms me. No one cares enough for 3 hrs!

    • erica says:

      Absolutely, and I looked out my window and it was dark, and not to check on the child for that long. That poor baby girl had to suffer, taken so early. Just plain awful. I cant stop crying for this little girls and the parents and community thst failed her.

  • iswhatitis says:

    The suspect looks like he is mentally retarded.

  • Margaret Snodgrass says:

    Unfortunately for all of us, God gives us a choice in how we live while on this earth. While God loves all of us. not all of us love God. I do not hold God responsible for this precious child’s death any more than I blame myself. I pray for all those who are suffering because so many do not obey God’s laws due to the lack of faith in this country.

  • Heather says:

    This guy is creepy looking! I don’t get how someone can hurt a child, but it is done everyday, they will all
    answer in the end!

  • Don Arndt says:

    I cant wait till this peice of shit go’s to jail an the inmates hear what he did to this precious little girl, They will take care of him, and I hope they make it a slow painful death!!!!!!

    • Brandon John says:

      He will be in solitary confinement the entire time he is in the Wayne County jail. He will never see another inmate or have any kind of contact at all. So those of you thinking he will be avenged in jail by other inmates, this simply is not going to happen. Assuming he goes to prison at some point, he most likely will be put in a special population. Most Unfortunate…

  • mary nordick says:

    This is sad I don’t see how someone can do this to a child. I hope this person gets the death penalty because I would personally kill someone if they did anything to any of my kids

  • Dustin O'Donnell says:

    Her parents should be charged also for not watching the 9 yearold child. So should the 24 year d and his caregiver

  • LISA says:

    So sad. Prayers to her family. You can just look at him an tell he is a sick low life

  • wdfjucfdf says:


  • tati says:

    mentally handicapped or not, you SHOULD know the difference between right and wrong..idc if you’re mentally retarded you know killing somebody (especially an innocent child) is NOT ok!!!!! and I’m not tryin to bash nobody but I would never let my child play outside without adult supervision..if my kids are outside I’m with them..its not like it was when I was growing up..as a parent they should know that..but that’s just my opinion..

  • The guy looks to me like his Mommy did a LOT of drinking. I’ll also bet he rode a short yellow bus to school and has hurt other kids over the years. Now we should hear soon from his Mother. She will tell us what a good boy he is and how many friends he has, etc. If he is indeed disabled mentally, she should be responsible for his behavior for many years to come, not just for the normal legal years (18?) of accountability by parents. He HAS to have some sort of record. This can’t possibly be the first time he has done a “bad thing.”

  • this is awful he should burn in hell

  • Joey says:

    All I can say is ‘Why?’. how can someone take the life of a beautiful young girl?

  • Joey says:

    love to the family

  • Nikki Williams says:

    I feel bad for the family of the little girl. All these deaths lately and noone is paying attention. Everyone should really get there stuff together and if they would read the bible what is in there is happening now. I will pray for all of us!!!

  • Devon Malcomb says:

    All I got to say is how could someone take my little cousin, why would you want to end her life when all she did was care about other people and why would you make me and my family suffer.

  • Jan says:

    Dig a deep grave for him to hell the monster

  • Matthew says:

    Come in guys let give our prayers out to this family instead of speaking this othere stuff. My prayer go out to the victims family.

  • Patricia V says:

    Their are no words that can express the loss of a child and I would never say that I could possibly understand how it feels but, my heart and prayers go out to everyone affected by this senseless tragedy and my God bless you all.

  • liberalssuck says:

    I suggest a worldwide Pay-Per-View slow-dismemberment of this “autistic” piece of sh*t with no anesthetic—performed by a skilled surgeon (of course) that can keep him going through pain for the longest period of time before he kicks it. Any bleeding-heart POS who disagrees with this needs to be kicked off this planet! No excuse for being a lecherous killer and “mentally-deficient” is NO EXCUSE. Mental problems do not always translate into violence unless the person is intrinsically evil. There are plenty of retarded people out there that have a fascination with cartoons, M&M’s, and non-violent things..

  • Warrior says:

    It always breaks my heart to hear about kids getting hurt and killed. Stinkin’ sick bass turds. When driving in inclement weather, I always pray that everyone will get to where they are going safely with the caveat that if they have nefarious purposes, that they will not get there.

  • Randy cooper says:

    Prayers to the family.

  • Ed Powers says:

    Lets look at what was said in the story. The young girl reported missing at 8:30pm. She was found in a dumpster on the trailer park property five hours later. The dumpster is one of the first places the deputies should of looked. If they did and the girl wasn’t there, where was she? Five hours and a person with diminished mental capacity had to evade detection form the deputies to put the child in the dumpster. He had to be able to plan. Does this man have the ability to make such decisions and to form a strategy?

  • Jules699 says:

    Could you be anymore cruel with your words Karen? Read the article!! She was outside playing at 5:30pm in a community area .. that is why they are investigating to see if anyone saw her. She could have also been outside with others! We just don’t know and have no right to assume. Then to say that it HAD to be an adult to lift her!! Now you are basically calling her heavy without actually having to say those words. Did you ever stop and think that maybe 2 teenagers could have lifted her body, and not just an adult!! You disgust me .. stop assuming you twit!!

  • Her dad loved and cared for her very much. He is a friend and wasn’t around her at the time because the mother kept him away from her for 2 months. So let’s just leave him alone. Plus, they will check everyone and let’s think about some of them to they are going through a lot right now!!

  • heather says:

    Excuse me, you shouldn’t open your mouth about things you don’t know anything about. This was a friend of mine and her daughter. Stop slandering people in their time of loss and pain. I hope you never have to know this kind of pain.

  • erica says:

    I agree with you. Poor child playing outside without an adult supervision @ 5:30 it is dark. A child cannot lift another child into a dumoster. Thats the probkem today lack of supervision and pedophikes running aroubd free to molest others.

  • Roxanne says:

    Is it not a shame that we question OUR action in a situation and not put the blame where it belongs, with the sick individual(s) who DID the act. Like if your car gets robbed…you should have locked it, you should have had an alarm..etc etc. Bottom line idiots shouldn’t take what doesn’t belong to them! It is sad that in a sense, we almost defend the criminal or accept it as “part of life”.

  • auntieben says:

    You are right about the judges. Mark Weist was one
    Of the very worst. Making decisions merely to get cases
    Out of his court room.
    Hopefully they will let minor offenders out & keep those
    Who are violent (especially those who harm children) IN.

  • Megan says:

    Ok amanda u lied apparently god did answer especially if she was found even tho she wasnt alive but she was found right so we thank god for that nobody asked for your comment so you watch it people believe in gpd unlike you i do

  • Mark says:

    Unfortunately, I agree with Amanda. Although this isn’t the time or place for a debate such as this, I think Amanda’s points are well taken. When tragedies strike, the first thing most do is pray. And judging by the news, these prayers are seldom answered. And god had nothing to do with her being found so quickly. How about some credit to the Sheriff’s Department and the other responders that engaged in the search, not to mention the quick arrest. Seems to me if god was responsible for her quick recovery, he might have intervened a bit quicker and the little one would still be with us, don’t you think? You either have to say that god made it happen, or he was indifferent enough to let it happen. Either way, a little one is gone in a senseless act and apparently another human is responsible…and god turned a blind eye to the whole affair. At any rate, may she journey well…

  • Ellie says:

    We don’t always get the answer we pray for, But God was with her through it all, even tho we don’t understand why He allowed this to happen. We live in a fallen world, bad things happen to good people. Prayers for the family now, for comfort,

  • Correct, Mark. We are on our own here… and it’s up to us to take care of each other and to make this planet the best that it can be.

    Sincere sympathy and condolences to the family and loved ones of this little girl and I hope that the horrid person who did this is dealt with quickly and severely.

  • Jillian Brwn says:

    God has not turned a blind eye. Justice will be done no matter what man decides..we as humans are able to endure such tragic events in our families because God’s strength and comfort helps us each day. One day we all will receive our just reward. Until that day it is God’s grace and strength that helps us reach out to those who are hurting and share the burden.

  • Sarah says:

    Just because a wish isn’t granted doesn’t mean a prayer wasn’t answered. You have NO right to discriminate on anyone due to their religion. I don’t have a problem with you not believing in God. It’s you who has the issues with those who do. Abhorrent. Lord forbid others have something to help them through their dark times. Be it fantasy to you or not.

  • Karen says:

    No one will protect our children except us. When people finally start realizing that things like this won’t continue to happen unexpectedly. Period. And i will not apologize for my lack of sensitivity. You are ignorant if you have any doubt in your mind that every other person you see on the street would harm your children if given the chance!

  • state_facts says:

    that’s a sad statement, you have given up on humanity. Do your really want to walk on this earth if your really feel this way?

  • george johnston says:

    Look at his face. You could make a horror movie using this guy.

  • Carol says:

    As long as abortion remains decriminalized and children developing in the womb are allowed to be killed, then we will continue to see newborn babies thrown in dumpsters, and now even children older. We as a people should not be surprised one bit. There is no respect for life whatsoever, so lets not be shocked, but instead be outraged and demand an end to the slaughter of the innocent to where life can be respected again.

  • Denise says:

    Totally agree…..

  • Robin Stoughton says:

    I am so heartsick with the loss of this sweet little girl. I pray the Lord comfort & keep her family during this difficult time. She was such a sweetface & my family sends love to her family.

  • Karin Ware says:

    Sorry Carol but this creep should have been aborted!! Perhaps this beautiful child would still be alive! So let’s “abort” him NOW!

Comments are closed.