Reann Murphy, 9, Murdered in Ohio, Body Found Dumped in Trash Bin UPDATE: ‘Diminished Mental Capacity’
Posted on | December 16, 2013 | 63 Comments
Dan Riehl blogged about this case Sunday, and my immediate suspicion was that this wasn’t Jarrod Metsger’s first crime.
@DanRiehl Did Jarrod Metsger have a prior criminal history?
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) December 16, 2013
Criminals do not usually begin their careers with murder.
My hunch is that this suspect probably had a record of petty crimes — burglary, theft, drug possession, etc. — but maybe my usually inerrant hunches are wrong this time. At any rate, it’s a horrible crime:
An Ohio man who authorities believe killed a 9-year-old neighbor and dumped her body in a trash bin was ordered held on $1 million 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. . . .
Authorities have not offered a possible motive for her killing. Lutz said a coroner will determine the cause of death but that the girl was not shot or stabbed.
By process of elimination, if she was neither stabbed nor shot, the cause of death will be strangulation, suffocation or blunt force trauma. As for the motive, we shall see if Metsker (or Metsger, depending on which report you read) is charged with sexual assault, but that’s what the charge of “aggravated murder” usually means in such a case. This crime shook the whole community:
Friends, family and community members gathered Sunday evening at the pavilion in Apple Creek to remember the life of Reann Murphy, 9, who was found dead earlier in the day.
“There’s nothing I can say,” said Richard Murphy, Reann’s father, visibly shaken after a ceremony and candlelight vigil at the pavilion. . . .
“I hope our justice system does the right thing, regardless of the circumstances,” said Ken Murray, Reann’s uncle. “Our baby was murdered.”
Gary Lambert, a Mansfield pastor, said he made the trip over not because he had any answers.
“I wish I had words to stop the pain,” Lambert said. “Somewhere in the portals of heaven, she’s O.K. … if there’s any comfort tonight it’s that she’s O.K.”
Near the end of the remembrance, Reann’s cousin, Paula Watts, godmother Subrena Daughtery, and friend Sue Lazzaro remembered a girl who was a “daddy’s girl” and enjoyed things that challenged her.
“(Her father, Richard) lost his best friend,” Murray said.
News reports did not explain why Metsker was charged, and it’s quite likely he made incriminating statements to police. The background of the suspect and more facts about the crime are likely to be reported by Ohio media in the next couple of days.
A man accused of killing a 9-year-old neighbor and hiding her body in a trash bin had been building a snowman with her just hours before she was reported missing, investigators said Monday. . .
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 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.
Reann and her mother had just moved into the trailer park a few months ago around the beginning of the school year, relatives said. . . .
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. . . .
Preliminary autopsy results showed the girl likely had been strangled with an unknown object, county coroner Dr. Amy Jolliff said.
So, “diminished mental capacity,” playing with children “less than half his age,” and he apparently strangled the girl.
How could this crime have been prevented?
UPDATE II: Further evidence of Jarrod Metsker’s “diminished mental capacity” can be seen on his Facebook page, where he is a fan of Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift and such child-oriented shows as “iCarly” and “Spongebob Squarepants.”
UPDATE III: More from Dan Riehl:
— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) December 17, 2013
I’m still not entirely willing to believe that this murder was (allegedly) this guy’s first crime. Surely, there were warning signs.