A man accused of killing a nine-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.
Jerrod Metsker, 24, was the last person seen with Reann Murphy at the trailer park where they lived, a sheriff’s investigator said. He later joined neighbors and relatives in a search for her, a neighbor said.
Metsker was arrested Sunday, about 12 hours after deputies found the second-grader’s body. A judge ordered him held in jail on a $1 million bond after his appearance in court on an aggravated-murder charge.
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.