Girl 'died violently', put in bin

Last updated 08:07 16/12/2013

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A suspect in the death of a 9-year-old US girl has been arrested on a murder charge, hours after her body was found in a trash bin near her home.

Reann Murphy was last seen on Saturday night playing outdoors at the mobile home park where she lived in Smithville, Ohio. Sheriff's deputies found Reann's body in a trash bin in the area at 1.30am on Sunday, about five hours after she was reported missing.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest early Sunday afternoon and scheduled a news conference for 2.30pm.

Authorities didn't immediately return repeated calls seeking further information, including how Reann was killed and the name of the suspect.

Officers, firefighters and neighbours joined in the frantic search for Reann on Saturday night, going door-to-door in the park and combing area properties.

"Any violent death is troubling but the death of a child is much more so," Sheriff Travis Hutchinson said in a news release, calling Reann's killing a "violent death".

Marilyn Briggs, who lives in a house next to the mobile home park, said she didn't know Reann or her family but was shaken by the girl's 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."

Briggs described the park as a bit run-down but generally safe and added that she wasn't aware of any serious crimes in the area in the eight years she's lived there

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- AP

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