Autistic neighbor charged with killing little girl, bond set at - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Wayne County: Autistic neighbor charged with killing little girl, bond set at $1M

Jerrod Metsker in court Jerrod Metsker in court
Reann Murphy (SOURCE: Family) Reann Murphy (SOURCE: Family)

An autistic Wayne County man has been charged in the death of a little girl.

Jerrod Metsker, 24, is charged with aggravated murder in death of Reann Murphy, 9. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and his bond was set at $1M.

19 Action News has learned Metsker often played with the children who lived in the Smithville mobile home park. On Saturday afternoon, a group was building a snowman. Other children went inside to warm up, leaving Metsker and Reann alone.

Reann was last seen playing outside the shared area within the mobile home park round 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Deputies responded to the mobile home park on Akron Road at 8:30 p.m. and launched a search for Reann. Hours later, deputies discovered the little girl's body in a trash dumpster near her home.

Metsker, a neighbor and friend to the Murphy family, took part in the frantic search. At one point telling a searcher that he had already searched the dumpster where the little girl's body was found hours later.  

Metsker was arrested Sunday afternoon at his house. Police said Metsker didn't respond when they knocked at his door, but a nearby relative let them inside with a key.

"He knew what he was doing, he's 24-years-old," said Reann's father.  "I don't care what kind of problems you got. That was a 9-year-old girl, brother. You knew what you were doin'."

A cause of death for Reann Murphy has not yet been released. Funeral arrangements are pending. 

Metsker will be back in court on December 23.

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