Neighbor of slain girl held without bond

 By John Coyne

Associated Press
 
WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who authorities believe killed a 9-year-old neighbor and dumped her body in a trash bin was ordered held without bond Monday pending another hearing next week.
 
Jerrod Metsker, 24, appeared for an arraignment before a Wayne County municipal court judge via video from jail. The county public defender was appointed to represent him on charges that he killed Reann Murphy, whose family lives across from him in a trailer park in Smithville, about 30 miles southwest of Akron.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dec. 23. County prosecutor Daniel Lutz said the case could go to a grand jury on Friday if the evidence is processed in time.

Metsker was arrested Sunday, about 12 hours after deputies found Reann’s body in a trash bin near her home.

The girl was last seen Saturday night playing outdoors at the park. Her body was found about five hours after she was reported missing. Officers, firefighters and neighbors joined in the search for her, going door to door and combing area properties. Her body was found early Sunday.

Authorities did not offer a possible motive Monday for her killing. Lutz said a coroner will determine the cause of death but that the girl was not shot or stabbed.

Metsker was arrested at his home after he ignored knocks on his front door and deputies obtained a key from a family member, Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson said Sunday at a news conference.

Hutchinson described Metsker as a family friend and neighbor.

People in the little girl’s community held a vigil Sunday night to remember her.

Her father, Richard Murphy, tried to speak but broke down crying, according to WEWS-TV. “She’s the best thing that ever happened to me ... this is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life,” Murphy said.

Murphy released some balloons into the air during vigil in remembrance of his daughter.

“She saved my life,” Murphy said. “I wish I could trader her places.”

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