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Arrests Made in June Death of 8-Year-Old Harrison County Girl

The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that two people have been arrested and a third indicted in the June death of an 8-year-old girl.

Jessica Currence, 27, and Kristopher Merkins, 32, both of 34920 Cadiz-Piedmont Road, Cadiz, were arrested Wednesday in connection to the June 27 death of 8-year-old Paityn Merkins.

A Harrison County grand jury indicted Currence on a 10-count indictment, Merkins on a nine-count indictment and 51-year-old Angela Parcell on a two-count indictment, all in connection with Paityn’s death.

Currence and Merkins were taken into custody Wednesday night on warrants. Both have been charged with manslaughter, child abuse, reckless homicide, felonious assalt, endangering children, and domestic violence. Parcell is charged with endangering children and failure to report a crime.

Currence and Merkins’ bond hearing is set for Friday in Harrison County Common Pleas Court.

The arrests were made following a long investigation by Sheriff Joe Myers, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office and the Harrison County Coroner’s Office. The sheriff’s office thanks the Harrison County Department of Job and Family services for its cooperation with the investigation.

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