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?

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