Pike County Sheriff Charlie Reader Says Mass Murder Scenes Were ‘Absolutely Shocking’
The murders of eight family members in Piketon, Ohio, are under investigation and authorities have received over 300 tips regarding the case, said Pike County Sheriff Charlie Reader on April 27.
The execution-style shootings, which happened on April 22, left seven adults and a 16-year-old dead, all of the Rhoden family; Christopher Jr. and Christopher Sr., Hannah-Gilley, Clarence, Dana, Gary, Hanna, and Kenneth.
In one of the four homes where victims were shot, three children—3-years-old, 6-months-old, and 4-days-old—were found unharmed.
“It’s absolutely shocking some of the scenes. It’s not one you can simply go in, process, collect the evidence, and call it a day,” Reader said during a press conference.
“This is a lengthy and ongoing investigation.”
No arrests have been made. Officials say they are not assuming the killings were carried out by a lone gunman.
— Chetan (@ckp9953gmailcom) April 23, 2016
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said officials are not only seeking conviction for the murders, but are trying to find out what exactly happened.
“The people of Pike County have the right, and the victim’s families’ have the right to know the truth,” said DeWine. “They have the right to know who did it, and they they have the right to have these people brought to justice.”
No motive has been established, but police are investigating whether drugs were tied to the murders. Marijuana growing operations, too large for personal use, were found near several of the four houses where the Rhoden family was killed; as well as single-caged roosters, consistent with cockfighting.
“This isn’t a plant in the window or six or seven plants out in the backyard in a garden or something. They were doing this to sell,” DeWine said during an interview with WLW Radio.
Anyone with information on the #PikeCounty homicides can call 1-855-BCI-OHIO to speak with authorities.
— Ohio AG Mike DeWine (@OhioAG) April 22, 2016
On April 24, Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine said his office had received more than 100 tips, they had conducted more than 50 interviews, and 18 pieces evidence had been sent to the crime lab for testing.