WOOSTER, Ohio – An Ohio man who authorities said raped and strangled a 9-year-old girl before dumping her body in a trash bin at the trailer park where they lived has been indicted by a grand jury.
The grand jury in Wayne County returned an indictment Friday against Jerrod Metsker, 24, in the death of 9-year-old Reann Murphy. Murphy's body was found in the trash bin early last Sunday after a frantic search by neighbors and law enforcement after she was reported missing the day before.
The grand jury charged him with two counts of aggravated murder, three counts of kidnapping and two counts of rape.
Authorities say the death penalty would be available as punishment if Metsker is convicted of murder. He is being held on $1 million bond.
Metsker was the last person seen with the girl at the trailer park in Smithville, 30 miles southwest of Akron, a sheriff's investigator said. Metsker later joined neighbors and relatives in a search for her, a neighbor said.
Investigators with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office described Metsker as a family friend and neighbor. Capt. Douglas Hunter said Metsker has a "diminished mental capacity," but hasn't released information about a specific diagnosis.
The girl's mother was at work last 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.
A caller identifying himself as Metsker reported Reann missing in a 911 call provided by Hunter.