A nine-year-old Ohio girl last seen playing in the mobile home park where she lived was found dead in a nearby trash bin after a frantic search, and police have arrested a neighbour they've described as a family friend in the killing.
Jerrod Metsker, 24, was arrested at his home on Sunday (local time) on a murder charge about 12 hours after deputies found the body of Reann Murphy near her home at a mobile park in Smithville, about 50 kilometres southwest of Akron, Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson said at a news conference.
It was not immediately clear whether Metsker had an attorney. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday morning.
Metsker was arrested at his home after he ignored knocks on his front door and deputies obtained a key from a family member, Hutchinson said.
Reann was last seen Saturday night playing outdoors at the park. Officers, firefighters and neighbours joined in the search for Reann, going door-to-door and combing area properties.
Hutchinson wouldn't say how Reann was killed or offer a motive. He described Metsker as a family friend and neighbour.
"All she did was love people," Reann's father, Richard Murphy, told The Daily Record in Wooster. He said that he wanted the "worst for the guy" who killed his daughter and declined to comment further.
A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Murphy hung up on The Associated Press.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family," Wayne County Prosecutor Dan Lutz said at the news conference. "It's a horrific incident to take place at any time, especially during the holidays."