Austintown police find startling message near teen murder scene - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -


Austintown police find startling message near teen murder scene

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Ricki Williams IV Ricki Williams IV
Gina Burger Gina Burger

A woman tells police she witnessed a homeless teen murder a 16-year-old girl at an Austintown apartment complex.

That's according to an affidavit filed when 18-year-old Ricki Darnell Williams IV was arraigned Wednesday morning on ten charges including aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse, kidnapping, intimidation, tampering with evidence, abduction, possessing criminal tools and criminal trespassing.

Williams was arrested by U.S. Marshals Tuesday night in Youngstown for the stabbing death of Gina Burger, whose body was discovered by employees of a garbage transfer station near Grove City last week.

Investigators interviewed Ronisha Johnson, who lives at the Compass West apartments, where Burger was last seen by her mother on June 23. 

Johnson told police that Burger came over to her apartment that night, where Burger was stabbed in the chest by Williams.  She stated Williams pulled the knife from Burger's chest and smelled it as Burger collapsed onto the floor.  Johnson says Williams forced her to help conceal the body in a portable playpen, and put it into a dumpster outside the apartment.

Ken Cardinal is the Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor handling the case.  He's fighting for the death penalty, "He came to the apartment with a knife and his purpose was to kill someone that day.  ... There are evil people in this World.  He is one of hem.  There is no mindset.  There is no rational explanation for it, he is just an evil person."

Burger's biological mother, Jacqueline Bacher, told police that when she was waiting for Austintown police to take a missing persons report for Gina, she saw Williams struggling to carry a portable playpen outside the apartment.  Bacher says he even asked her if she wanted to buy it. She saw what appeared to be the same items in a dumpster the following morning.

The affidavit also revealed that trash from 18 dumpsters at the Compass West apartments is routinely taken to the garbage transfer station where the teen's body was found.

Police say they found a message carved into a hallway outside Johnson's apartment that read, "KILL FO FUN".  They also found several holes in the hallway that investigators say could have been made by a knife similar to the one used to kill Burger.

Authorities filed charges of kidnapping, intimidation and abduction charges against Williams because of alleged threats he made against Ronisha Johnson.

Authorities are still trying to determine if they will file charges against Johnson.

Williams is held in the Mahoning County jail on $750,000 bond.


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