Case moves forward against Ohio man charged in girl’s slaying

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A grand jury will hear the case of an Ohio man who police say killed a 16-year-old Cross Lanes girl.

Ernest Michael Roach, 46, of Racine, is charged with murder in Meigs County, Ohio, in the death of Ericka Brown. Federal prosecutors also charged him in Charleston with crossing state lines to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Federal prosecutors charged Roach with a criminal complaint that says he met Brown over the Internet. A magistrate sent the case to a grand jury after Roach waived his preliminary hearing.

On Wednesday, Roach’s attorney, assistant federal public defender George Lancaster, waived a preliminary hearing that was set for Thursday in federal court in Charleston.

Roach also waived a detention hearing set for Thursday, where prosecutors planned to argue he should remain in jail without bail.

Brown was reported missing Aug. 10. Her body was found Saturday on the bank of the Ohio River at Portsmouth wrapped in plastic and a ratchet strap, and a concrete block was attached to it.

Deputies say Roach and Brown met over the Internet, where she had placed an ad on

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