UPDATE @ 12:52 p.m. Aug. 8
WHIO’s John Bedell recently touched base with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine regarding the investigation into the unsolved April 22 fatal shootings of eight Rhoden family members in Pike County.
DeWine said the murders were “well planned” and executed by more than one person. He said at least one person involved was familiar with the properties where the bodies were found. While investigators have made progress, DeWine said the outcome is still nowhere in sight.
“I’ll tell you we know a lot more today that when we first started,” DeWine said. “We’re still not to the point where we can say, ‘we’re gonna go arrest someone.’ We’re just not to that point yet.”
DeWine has kept a tight lid on releasing details of what investigators are learning. Autopsy reports have been withheld from the public.
“The reason for that is there’s certain facts that only — at this point — only the murderer knows,” he said. “We don’t want to broadcast those facts. Because once you do, it becomes much more difficult to judge the credibility of something someone comes in and tells you.”
DeWine reiterated statements he made at the outset, that “this could be a long investigation.”
“It really is like putting together a big, say thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle,” he said. “We’re putting in pieces. A piece here, a piece here, a piece here. At some point it becomes clear. You start seeing a picture and at some point, you figure it out.”
In response to a question on whether the shooters knew the victims, DeWine said certainly those responsible “knew the territory.”
“Someone was involved who knew that area, and probably knew those homes and at least some of the people who were victimized. But beyond that I really can’t say.”
DeWine responded to questions about the marijuana that was found growing on two properties where bodies were found.Pike County shooting: The latest
“Clearly, this was a serious commercial operation,” said DeWine, who would not confirm whether there are any connections to international drug cartels.
“I don’t want to be in a position where we confirm or deny any kind of theory. I don’t think that would be fair as far as our investigation is concerned and our ability to find out who did this,” he said.
The three surviving children of the victims of the Pike Co. shooting massacre in April that left 8 members of the Rhoden family dead, are in danger according to Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader.
According to a report from the Columbus Dispatch, Reader testified at a court hearing and said that the Rhoden family, specifically the three children in the homes where the murders occurred, remain in danger.
He also confirmed his investigators are looking for multiple killers, according to the report.
No arrests have been made yet for the killings.
Reader’s testimony came in a hearing to keep proceedings about the surving Rhoden children closed to the public and the media.
Reader told Pike County Juvenile Judge Robert Rosenberger: “I believe if the information about the minor children is released, it would put the minor children or their caregivers in grave danger.”
The judge is considering access to hearings for 9-month-old Ruger Rhoden and 3-month-old Kylie Rhoden, both of whom are in foster care.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.