Jerrod Metsker (Photo: WKYC)
WOOSTER (WKYC) -- A man charged in the death of a missing 9-year-old girl
found over the weekend in a trash dumpster appeared in court Monday
A judge set bond at $1 million for Jerrod Metsker. He is
due back in court on December 23 for a preliminary hearing. Metsker
will be assigned a public defender.
Metsker, 24, remains in custody. He is charged with aggravated murder in the death of Reann Murphy.
court, the prosecutor said Metsker was seen playing with Reann in the
courtyard of the mobile home park where they both lived about two hours
before the girl was reported missing.
Related: Missing girl's body found in Wayne County
was taken into custody on Sunday just 12 hours after deputies found
Reann's body in a dumpster near her home. The little girl had last been
seen playing outside on Saturday evening.
Reann's father attended
Metsker's video arraignment. He made an emotional statement to the
media afterwards saying in part of his daughter, "She saved my life. I
wish I could have save her."
The Wayne County Sheriff has not
discussed how Reann died or a possible motive. He has described Metsker
as a neighbor and friend to the Murphy family.
Authorities in Ohio say Metsker had been building a snowman with the girl just a few
hours before she was reported missing.
A sheriff's investigator says Jerrod Metsker was the last person seen with the girl at the trailer park where both lived.
Metsker is being held on $1 million bond following his arraignment Monday.
24-year-old was arrested Sunday, about 12 hours after deputies found
Reann Murphy's body inside a trash bin at the trailer park.
Authorities described Metsker as a family friend and neighbor.
say the little girl was playing in the snow with several other children
but she was left alone with the suspect after the others went home.
Authorities haven't stated a motive for the killing.
preliminary hearing is 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.
The girl's body was found early Sunday about
five hours after she was reported missing. Officers, firefighters and
neighbors joined in the search, going door to door and combing area
Lutz said a coroner will determine the cause of death but that the girl was not shot or stabbed.
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.
People in the little girl's community held a vigil Sunday night to remember 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.
He released some balloons into the air during vigil in remembrance of his daughter.
"She saved my life," Murphy said. "I wish I could trade places."
cousin, Paula Watts, said she "can't believe somebody would do this to
her. I can't believe anyone would do it to any child, but she's amazing,
the most friendliest little girl you ever met."
The Daily Record in Wooster reported that Richard Murphy said of his daughter: "All she did was love people."
Briggs, who lives in a house next to the mobile home park where Reann
lived, said she didn't know the little girl or her family but was shaken
by the killing.
"It sickens me and I'm so sad for the family, and
this close to Christmas," Briggs said. "It's just awful. You never
think something like that is going to happen in your area."
described the park as a bit run-down but generally safe. She said she
wasn't aware of any serious crimes in the area in the eight years she's