PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — An arrest warrant has been issued for a Pleasants County man who Parkersburg Police say is responsible for the death of a baby girl.

Ariella Noel Merinar, age 1, died on Tuesday.


Curtis Dean Richards, Jr.

On Thursday, investigators said they were looking for Curtis Dean Richards, Jr., 30, of St. Marys. He’s wanted for Merinar’s murder.

Richards was caring for the girl and her sister, age 2, at the time. According to investigators, Richards was the boyfriend of the girls’ mother who was at work on Tuesday morning.

Parkersburg Police said Richards had claimed the two-year-old choked the one-year-old with a blanket and she stopped breathing.

An autopsy conducted on Thursday showed the girl had severe head and neck injuries.

Richards is believed to be driving a black Toyota truck with a West Virginia license plate 4XA-886.

The Parkersburg Police Department can be reached at 304-424-8444.


bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Kristi Stutler

    He is now a suspect in a bank robbery in Jackson county...

  • sonia

    Nicole you sure you don't know where he is. You seem like your protecting him. Nobody cares who is family is he took a life an innocent child's life at that. He deserves to rot in jail. And even jail isn't enough for trash like that.

  • JL Robinson

    WHY is he STILL loose? Angry @ how P-Burg PD handled this. They knew he'd run, gave him days to commit more crime-robbery & who knows what
    else. I'd turn
    myself in to the law rather than
    chance getting any of that good old fashioned citizen Mountaineer justice!

  • Nicole

    You obviously don't know anything about his dad. He has never been in trouble nor is worthless. You better figure out who you're talking about first before you start posting comments.

  • Harry

    I know his dad Sr.and the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Always in trouble and always blaming someone else. Daddy and step mom can't protect him and cover this up.

    • Nicole

      Nobody is trying to protect him and cover it up. Maybe you should make sure you know who you're talking about first.

    • ashley

      If you know his dad, surley you could find out where ye is.

      • Harry

        I know his dad. I don't like him or his son should've clarified that. Both are worthless!

  • Martha

    Well I'd say a lot of people had Thier children around him, he was the manager of 5 guys in viena. More things they don't tell the public.we can only hope that when he is found no one else has been hurt. God bless the babies.

  • angel

    hope they ll catch him...that trash

  • Jane

    Hope he rots in jail.... Then goes on to rot in hell POS in my book!!! If they send him to MT olive that little baby's grandpa is there and I'd say he will be a dead man!!!!!

  • Jim - Morgantown

    COWARD !! Beat a 1 yr. old and blame it on a 2 year old?

  • Aaron

    Then police said from the beginning that foul play was suspected why are they looking for him now they should have had someone keeping an eye on him this whole time! Sad world we live in

  • Maxeer

    to the 4 winds with this POS!!!!

  • tim

    Think all this is just a coincidence? The two wal marts in parkersburg were first and third last year in the sell of pseudoephederine. Everyday seems there is a story on here about parkersburg. Think it's easy to see why

    • loresca

      So, west VA is full of meth addicts. Is there any state left that isn't? I want to move, but I can't seem to find an area in the USA that isn't saturated with addicts!

  • Thecrow2123

    What a low life POS!

    Wish I could find him first

  • Katydids

    This evil coward will be found dead by his own hand, IMO.

    • Jim

      Hopefully he lives long enough to make it out to the general population! Bubba and crew will waiting to welcome him into HEII!

      • Jane

        It won't be bubba getting him first it will be that little baby's papaw who is an inmate there on a burglary charge! He got a phone call from the baby's mom (his daughter) so he is waiting on him to get there lol!

  • Dumb Liberals

    Seems Mr. Richards knows his way around the correctional system. He has been convicted of forgery & uttering, and burglary. The DOC saw fit to allow him into Work Release program. They are such good judges of character, aren't they?

    Now he has killed a defenseless 1yr old. The baby's mother allowed this convicted felon to supervise this poor child. She's as culpable as he is. When you lay with a dog, you're sure to get fleas. Poor decisions lead to deadly results.

    If we're lucky, maybe he'll do himself in.


      You have nailed it buddy!! this guy is a loser & what I'd like to know what kind of girl would take up with such a jail bound loser & then allow them to be a round their child & a girl at that he probably was molesting her as well. she should be charged in this as well for placing her child in danger. dumb liberals well stated!!!!