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

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.


  • tati

    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..

  • Cheryl Hathaway

    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.”

  • Nikki Williams

    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

    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.

  • Matthew

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • Ed Powers

    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

    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!!

  • Sheri Schaefer

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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,

  • verbonica (@verbonica)

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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?

  • Carol

    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.

  • Robin Stoughton

    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

    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.