Young Mother Murdered in Ohio Massacre Was a Victim, ‘At the wrong place at the wrong time’

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
May 4, 2016 Updated: May 4, 2016

A friend of one a young Ohio woman who was killed—along with seven other people—said that she didn’t deserve it.

A funeral for Hannah Gilley was held over the weekend. She was 20 years old. The new mother was shot dead along with seven members of the Rhoden family in Piketon. Gilley was engaged to Clarence Rhoden.

Patty Hammond, 46, attended the funeral and spoke with MailOnline: “She didn’t deserve to die like that—she wasn’t into drugs and, from what I hear locally, she didn’t have any drugs in her system when she died.”

“That poor girl shouldn’t even have been there when the killers showed up,” she added.

Gilley was shot and killed execution-style on April 22 along with Clarence.

When police investigated the Rhoden’s property, they discovered a commercial marijuana-growing operation in three of the four homes where the bodies were found.

The finding triggered rumors about whether they had been involved in the drug trade or if they were involved with a Mexican drug cartel. Some rumors emerged that the family had made enemies with a drug dealing partner who took revenge.

Over the past several days, police have remained mum.

“Hannah’s family knows that she wasn’t involved in any of that drug stuff, especially since she had a baby boy,” Hammond added.

“I have nothing against the Rhodens—they suffered a huge loss with seven of their family killed with Hannah and I feel for them,” she said. “But what upsets me is that all the attention around here has been on the Rhodens. It’s the Rhodens this and the Rhodens that—nobody says anything about Hannah.”

She said, “It’s like poor Hannah has been booted aside like she wasn’t even there—yet she died a horrible death just like all those Rhodens did. And she was innocent!”

Hammond decided to try and raise money for Gilley’s family.

“Benefit for Hannah Gilley—a victim of the tragic massacre on Union Hill (the Piketon street where three of the four murder homes are located),” fliers she printed read.

She hopes to raise about $8,000 for the family’s funeral.

“Hannah’s family isn’t rich—nobody around here is—so I want to help out as much as I can.
I wanted to make sure that Hannah’s family—and her baby boy—aren’t left out and lost in the shuffle.They need support too,” she noted.

Meanwhile, a funeral for six members of the Rhoden family was held in Ohio.

“Nobody should ever have to bury a whole family. … It’s just really sad. It’s something that shouldn’t ever happen to anybody,” one family member told CBS News.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said last Monday that authorities have carried out nearly 130 interviews and are reviewing hundreds of tips and more than 100 pieces of evidence.

He described the murders as “a pre-planned execution” and “a sophisticated operation.”

“We have no new information that would indicate that there is a threat to any of the members of the family,” he told CBS. “We don’t have any information on that. And we did not when we initially said it other than the fact we had eight people killed.”

Services for a cousin, Gary Rhoden, 38, were held on Thursday in Kentucky.

Many denied the family’s involvement with drugs.

“The family that I knew could not have been involved in that,” family friend Heather Romine told CNN. “It’s just so out of character for them. I don’t think it’s plausible.”

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.