Jerrod Metsker, 24, charged with murder in strangling of Ohio 9-year-old.
Wayne County sheriff's deputies secure the scene while investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Investigation search a mobile home in Wayne County's Green Township on Sunday.
Akron Beacon Journal/Mary Beth Breckenridge Enlarge
WOOSTER, Ohio — The disappearance of a 9-year-old girl later found strangled and dumped in a trash bin was reported in a 911 call by the man now charged with killing her.
Authorities say Jerrod Metsker, 24, was the last person seen with Reann Murphy at the trailer park where they lived in Wayne County, southwest of Akron. On Monday, a judge ordered him held in jail on a $1 million bond on an aggravated murder charge.
The girl’s body was found in a trash bin early Sunday. There have been no findings on whether she had been sexually assaulted, sheriff’s Capt. Douglas Hunter said today.
In the 5½-minute 911 call provided by Hunter, a caller identifying himself as Metsker said Reann was missing from their Smithville trailer park and people were searching for her late Saturday.
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When the dispatcher answered, the caller responded, “Yes, we have a missing person at Akron Road, um, the trailer park in Smithville, Ohio.”
“Everybody’s out searching for her and we can’t find her,” the caller said.
Asked for details on the child’s address, the caller, breathing heavily, responded, “Could you send a unit out?”
“Who’s missing?” the dispatcher asked.
“A little girl, Reann,” the caller said.
The caller didn’t know Reann’s age and, asked what she was wearing, said he couldn’t take the wireless phone from his mother’s place.
Asked his name, the caller responded: “My name is Jerrod. I had a, um, a knock at my door and basically ... “
“What’s your last name, Jerrod,” the dispatcher prodded.
Investigators with the Wayne County sheriff’s office described Metsker as a family friend and neighbor. 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.
The girl’s mother was at work 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.