POMEROY, Ohio — The prosecutor from Meigs County, Ohio said discussions were ongoing Wednesday about how Ernest Roach will be prosecuted in the death of Kanawha County teenager Ericka Brown.

Roach, 26, of Racine, Ohio, is in custody on federal and state charges. He allegedly traveled across state lines to have sex with the 16-year-old Brown and then allegedly murdered her near Portland, Ohio.

Meigs County prosecutor Colleen Williams told MetroNews the chain of prosecution has not been finalized, though conversations with the assistant U.S. attorney have been cooperative.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Tuesday nothing trumps the murder charge against Roach and his office is committed to pursuing the case in the jurisdiction “with the most serious charges, the best evidence and ultimately the greatest likelihood of conviction and the most appropriate sentence.”

Police said Roach confessed to the crime, and Williams said a preliminary autopsy report has been completed, but authorities still aren’t ready to release a cause of death or motive. By requesting help from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in the case, Williams said she would continue to be lead prosecutor.

Ohio does have the death penalty but whether Roach would face that punishment is a decision to be made in the months to come, Williams said.

Brown’s body was found last Saturday along the Ohio River wrapped in a plastic tarp tied to a cement block. Court documents show the two first met through Craigslist after Brown posted a personal ad looking for relationships with men.

Roach is being held without bail in the South Central Regional Jail in Charleston. He is scheduled to appear in U.S. Magistrate Court for a preliminary and detention hearing Thursday.

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  • WSG

    Very sad. Sorry she felt the need to go on CL to meet someone to treat her good. How many young people feel this way at that age. Prayers to her family.
    As for this guy. I hope justice is swift and I'm sure it will be.

  • david

    If he was an illegal alien they would turn him loose..

    True story..

  • Guardian

    For heaven's sake, try him in Ohio and seek the death penalty.

  • Karl

    The Charleston Gazette editorial staff will not allow the death penalty.

  • Reality

    Burn the parents first. They were the problem. Can you say, LOSERS!

    • Jonus Grumby

      Really? The parents caused this p3rvert to seek out an underage girl, rape her, kill her, wrap her in plastic, weigh it down with a concrete block and toss her lifeless body in the river? Perhaps the parents should have been a larger presence in her life. That's debatable at best. However there is no debate that this piece of human excrement in custody will stand trial for this heinous crime. And if found guilty should pay a heavy price for his perversion. Obviously you must think it's OK to prey on underage girls. You are one sick sum-b1tch.

      • Dave. Just Dave

        Whoa there rodeo clown. Unless you're privy to a lot of information it seems you're making a lot of assumptions. The way I hear it the young lady posted ads without stating age and the guy responded. The two met and had sex. They then met again a second time at which point she then made him aware and he panicked. There were also drugs involved.

      • Larry

        There's no debate that the parenting, or severe lack thereof, led her to lead the lifestyle she was leading. It didn't cause her death, but if she wasn't doing the things she was, she would have never met the guy.

        • Jonus Grumby

          So, it's OK for an adult to have s3x with a child? Another sick sum-b1tch.

  • Jonus Grumby

    Burn him.