The rape, strangulation and murder happened in Smithville, Ohio on Saturday, Dec. 14. Nine-year-old Reann Murphy was reported missing from the trailer park where she lived with her mother in a 911 call. Today, Jerrod Metsker, 24, was arraigned in court and pleaded not guilty. Jerrod is accused of the rape, strangulation and killing, and then dumping Reann Murphy’s body in the trash. Jerrod Metsker is also the same person who made the original 911 call.
Jerrod Metsker was the last person to be seen with Reann Murphy. They were building a snow man. Metsker is variously described as mentally challenged and mentally deficient. In fact, he was commonly seen to be playing with the children in the trailer park as if he was one of them.
That fateful Saturday afternoon, Reann’s mother was at work. Reann was being watched over by her mother’s boyfriend at the trailer park where they lived in Wayne County, 30 miles southwest of Akron.
Metsker was known to make tents using blankets when he was playing with the neighborhood children. He was playing with Reann that Saturday. Metsker and the neighborhood children went out to play in the snow. One by one, the children left for home. Finally, Reann was the only child left playing with Metsker.
In fact, later that same day, on the evening after she had disappeared Metsker called 911 and dutifully reported Reann as missing. The search was on late into Saturday night.
Then, in the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 15, around 1:35 a.m., Reann’s body was retrieved from a trailer park trash dumpster.
Later that day, the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 15, Metsker was arrested and charged. At the time of Reann’s discovery, police said they had no idea whether she had been sexually assaulted. However, that changed.
The following Friday, Dec. 20, Metsker was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder, three counts of kidnapping and two counts of rape. The judge in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office ordered that Metsker be held in jail on a $1 million bond.
This morning, Thursday, Dec. 26, Metsker pleaded not guilty in a video arraignment to rape, strangulation, and murder charges. However, there is no denying that he called 911 to report the missing nine-year-old girl.
The 911 Call
The 5½-minute call to 911 had originally begun with a caller saying they were looking for a missing girl on Akron Road, at the trailer park in Smithville, Ohio.
The 911 operator probed for details.
Metsker: “Could you send a unit out?”
The dispatcher inquired for whom.
“A little girl, Reann,” answered the caller.
The 911 operator probed for more details.
When asked for his name, Metsker said: “My name is Jerrod. I had a knock at my door and … “
“What’s your last name, Jerrod?”
Reann’s father, Richard Murphy, Jr., a resident of Creston, had joined the neighborhood search that Saturday. He was supposed to have had Reann for visitation that weekend. After seven hours, he watched as they pulled Reann’s body out of the trash. Jerrod Metsker had previously been described as a family acquaintance.
Prosecutors say Metsker could now be facing the death penalty. Online commentary unanimously condemns Metsker for calling 911 to report the-nine-year-old girl missing after allegedly singlehandedly executing the rape, strangulation, murder and subsequent dumping in the trash, of Reann’s body.
By Alex Durig