A victim in the Ohio family massacre last week apparently had dollar bills littering his body below his knees, apparently as a message from the killer, according to a report.
However, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, said that couldn’t confirm the report.
Car repairman Donald Stone, 44, found the body of his cousin, Kenneth Rhoden lying in bed with a single gunshot wound to his head.
Police may be investigating the possibility that the murders were sparked by a drug turf war, according to reports.
— People Magazine (@people) April 27, 2016
“If I had, I would have been victim number nine. I feel lucky about that and to be alive today,” Stone told the paper about if he were to have stayed overnight at his cousin’s home.
He explained the situation before the killings took place:
“Kenneth would normally padlock the camper where he lived from the outside when he left.
“I was supposed to meet him the night before and go to work on some cars with him in the morning.
“When I didn’t hear from him I went to the camper and it was unlocked and his truck was outside and I felt there must have been something wrong.
“It was the afternoon and he would normally be out working on cars at 5.30 am.”
He then detailed the crime scene:
“There was blood everywhere man. It was something no human should see.
“A man who was good a man lying there like that, shot dead by cowards. It makes me feel ill when I think about what I saw.
“Kenneth loved me like a brother. He was always looking out for me and would take me out for food just for my company and he would give me a few dollars here and there.
“I was going to work with him repairing cars and we had been to a couple of auctions together earlier this month.”
On Monday, DeWine said that the family’s homes had a considerable amount of marijuana growing there.
“This is not a plant in a window or six or seven plants in the backyard,” he said. “They were doing this to sell.”
It’s not clear yet if the cannabis operation is tied to the shootings.
Authorities haven’t revealed a possible motive for the massacre.
“Pike County is perfect for a grow operation because you have a lot of notice whether someone’s there and not supposed to be there,” DeWine said, per the Daily Beast. “We have come across in the past in Pike County, on a couple different occasions, some sophisticated commercial grow operations. There was one that made the news [in 2010] where we came across an encampment where we had people in tents who were out there tending the marijuana.”
And meanwhile, authorities have kept a tight lid on the investigation.
“The essential fact when you kill eight people in one family at four separate locations, clearly this was planned out, particularly when they are in their bed,” DeWine said this week, reported the Chillicothe Gazette.
DeWine said he believes several suspects were involved. “We are not assuming it is one person,” he added.
DeWine said that he assumed the killer(s) were following news reports flowing from the media and he didn’t want to provide them with any indication about the investigation.
“As much as we would like to share information with you and the public, we have no intention in doing anything that will jeopardize this case,” DeWine said.
He said the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Pike County Sheriff’s Office have received hundreds of tips.
“It’s going to take however long it takes,” he added. “We are going to find who did this. There’s no time limit on it. We are going to do this the right way.
During a Wednesday news conference, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said, “It’s absolutely shocking, some of these scenes. It’s not one you can simply go in, process and collect the evidence and call it a day.”
(H/T – IJReview)