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Slain teen’s body hauled past mother in playpen bag

CLEVELAND – An Ohio man charged with killing a teenage girl stuffed her body in a playpen bag and carried it past her mother – even offering the woman a chance to “buy a baby thing” – before disposing of the remains in the trash, police said.

Ricki D. Williams IV, 18, of Youngstown, was held without bond after a court hearing Wednesday in the June 23 death of 16-year-old Gina Burger. Investigators said he confessed to killing the girl, whose body was found in a Pennsylvania landfill two days later.

Burger was stabbed inside an apartment at a complex in the Youngstown suburb of Austintown where she lived with her mother, police said. Another woman helped Williams dispose of the body under threat of death, according to police.

Williams is charged with aggravated murder and kidnapping. More charges are expected, said Austintown Police Chief Robert Gavalier. It is unclear if Williams had an attorney.

Jaqueline Bacher reported her daughter missing about 11 p.m. on June 23, three hours after Burger had left their apartment to borrow bags for iced tea.

A police report said Bacher told officers that while she waited outside for an officer to take a missing person’s report, she saw Williams walk out of another apartment struggling to carry what appeared to be a bag used to store a portable playpen.

Bacher told police that Williams asked her if she “wanted to buy a baby thing.”

An officer soon arrived and Bacher did not see what Williams did with the bag, the police report said. She said she saw what appeared to be the same bag in a trash container outside the apartment complex the next day.

A worker found Burger’s body June 25 at a landfill in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, about 45 miles south of Pittsburgh.

On June 26, police went to the apartment of a woman Burger sometimes visited. A manager of the complex let them inside and police discovered blood stains throughout the house.

Investigators found the woman who lived in the apartment the next day. She told officers she helped Williams dispose of Burger’s body in the bag for her son’s playpen after Williams threatened to kill her.

The woman said Williams forced her and Burger into the woman’s bedroom and allowed them to smoke a “last cigarette,” the police report said. Williams then tried to force the woman to stab Burger. When she refused, Williams grabbed the knife and stabbed the teen once in the chest, the report said.

A fugitive task force from the U.S. Marshal’s Office found Williams on Tuesday evening in Youngstown and arrested him.

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