Pike County plea: ‘End this nightmare,’ Rhoden family survivors say

Geneva Rhoden poses with a poster at the Big Bear Lake Family Resort in Lucasville on Thursday, April 20, 2017. BROOKE LAVALLEY / THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

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Geneva Rhoden poses with a poster at the Big Bear Lake Family Resort in Lucasville on Thursday, April 20, 2017. BROOKE LAVALLEY / THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Geneva Rhoden spent a year waking up, losing sleep and shedding more tears than she cares to count.

“I would like to say from a mother’s heart, that I hurt so bad inside from the day that I found out,” Rhoden said about the methodical executions of her sons Christopher Sr. and Kenneth, her grandchildren and grandson’s fiancee.

“I think about it day and night.”

Rhoden and her daughter, Teresa Grebing, issued a gripping plea for answers Friday, a day before the anniversary of the Pike County murders of eight people.

News of the killings a year ago today caught the eye of the nation for a moment. But as the cameras, satellite trucks and reporters left, what remained was a family in pain and a $10,000 reward for the tip to end their nightmare.

RELATED: Pike County murders: 5 unanswered questions 1 year later

The video — announced moments before its release by Attorney General Mike DeWine on WHIO Radio’s Miami Valley Morning News — is a plea from the family for answers and more donations to the Crime Stoppers reward. For nearly 30 minutes, Rhoden and Grebing describe their loss in what DeWine called “gut-wrenching” detail.

“Please, please, please come forward,” Grebing says with increasing emotion, crackling the audio. Between sobs, she expresses comfort in knowing her lost family members would make the same plea for them had fate cast a different lot. She professes hope in knowing some day “the case will be cracked and we will have answers.”

“Please end this nightmare we’ve been living,” she says.

The Rhodens — Christopher Sr., 40, Christopher Jr., 16, Dana, 37, Gary, 38, Hanna, 19, Kenneth, 44, and 20-year-old Frankie — died April 22, 2016, with Frankie’s fiancee, Hannah Gilley, 20, in four homes across Pike County.

DeWine told WHIO’s Larry Hansgen it is “hard to tell” if would-be tipsters are withholding information more due to fear of prosecution or retaliation for speaking out. But he doesn’t “think there’s any doubt … there are people who know things they are simply not telling us.”

“Anyone who has information and is afraid to give it to us because it might implicate them in some growing of marijuana or some sort of involvement in drugs, we want to assure them our focus is not on that,” DeWine said. “Our focus is on eight human beings who have been killed.”

But still, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said the fear of becoming another victim exists.

“The fear of retaliation from whoever these killers are, that’s real,” he said.

Anyone with information on the murders is asked to call the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, 1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at 740-947-2111.

To make a donation to the reward fund, write a check to Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers. In the memo line, indicate the donation is for the Rhoden murders. Checks can be mailed to Deputy Dave Weber, c/o: Ross County Sheriff’s Office, 28 North Paint St., Chillicothe, Ohio 45601.

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