PORTLAND, OH. — An Ohio man will be charged Tuesday in the death of Kanawha County teenager Ericka Brown according to Meigs County, Ohio Sheriff Keith Wood.  


Ernest Roach, 36, of Racine, Ohio, will be charged Tuesday in the death of Ericka Brown.

Wood said Ernest Michael Roach, 36, of Racine, Ohio, told investigators he killed Brown. Her body was found along the Ohio River near Portland, Ohio Saturday wrapped in a plastic tarp with a cement block tied to it.

Brown, 16, of Cross Lanes, was reported missing Aug. 10. Kanawha County sheriff’s deputies have said they believe she left on her own but she may have been a victim of a crime afterward. The department announced last week it had extended its search from Charleston up the I-77 corridor and into Ohio. Sheriff’s deputies considered Roach a person of interest last week. He was taken into custody on those charges before Brown’s body was found Saturday. He’s being held in the South Central Regional Jail.

Sheriff Wood said Roach would face the death charges in Ohio. He was not ready to release a motive Monday.

Brown was a sophomore at Nitro High School. School officials said counselors would be on hand at the school Tuesday.

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • chasmo


    • ViennaGuy

      As much as I'd like to see the death penalty reinstated in West Virginia, it has two major problems:

      1. It is very costly in terms dollars spent on years of appeals, and

      2. It takes too long to implement (see #1 above)

      When people sit on death row for 20-30 years or more because they continually appeal their conviction, the death penalty ceases to be an effective deterrent. Further, we now live in a society that cheapens life so much that many people really don't care if they live or die - the daily shootings in Chicago are an excellent example.

      Some people will say that appeals for death penalty cases need to be limited, but how do you do that and not deprive them of their due process rights, especially if some evidence surfaces that the convicted really is innocent(and that does happen)?

      I don't know how to overcome these issues. Anyone have any ideas?

  • Jonus Grumby

    My condolences to Ms. Brown's family & friends. If Mr. Roach is found guilty of this crime, let's hope justice is swift and severe.

  • sad

    I remember reading some of the comments earlier when the story broke. "Spoiled kid" comments etc. I hope you feel bad now. This was a confused young teen like we all were at some point......she made a bad choice and she paid for it. I feel for her and her family. I wish him a worse death than he caused her.

  • Jim N Charleston

    Sad. So sad.

    All I got
    I'm Jim N So Charleston

  • BigEerFull

    Truly a shame. My deepest sympathies go out to the family of this child.
    The public should be screaming to their elected officials to bring back old Sparky.

    • Larry

      To those who claim that capital punishment is not a deterrent... look at it this way, the ones that die for their crimes commit no further crimes.

    • Crystal

      Ohio has old injecty and they're not afraid to use it.

      • JWP

        When will West Virginia re-institute the death penalty??? Long over due...

        • Parker

          Yeah -- seems like a great deterrent to stop crime.

          • Harvey


            No apology called for. I oppose the death penalty for a number of reasons valid to me and you support it for reasons valid to you. I just think we need to call it what it is. It is punishment that many find appropriate for people who commit acts that make us angry and that generally offend the public conscience.

          • The bookman


            I agree sir. Sick depraved individuals have no deterrent. The existence of capital punishment serves to satiate the public's need for retribution. Justice should be swift, and we should reserve such punishment for the most heinous of crimes. I make no apology that it serves this purpose.

          • Crystal

            The death penalty is not a deterrent. It's revenge killing. Every statistic will tell you that.

          • Harvey

            Well, if he killed her in Ohio, how was the death penalty there a deterrent? If he killed her in West Virginia he was not deterred by the stiff federal penalty for coming here to have sex with a minor nor the prospect of life in prison without the hope of release. The murder rate in Ohio, with the death penalty, is marginally higher than that in West Virginia, although not by much. Whether a state chooses to impose the death penalty is up to the voters of each state and that is the right of the people. However, we should call it what it is--societal retribution, not deterrence; expensive, arbitrary and sometimes misapplied societal retribution. Blood, blood, blood.

        • The bookman

          Maybe a leadership change in the house after November allows it out of committee.

          • jeremy