Pike County sheriff threatens arrests for obstructing investigation

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, in an interview with our news partner WCPO.com in Cincinnati, hinted strongly that his office will arrest and charge anyone found to be withholding information in the investigation of the Rhoden killings.

Reader on Monday sent I-Team reporter Hillary Lake a statement in response to a request for an update in the case. Eight members of the family were found shot to death on April 22. Investigators found marijuana grow operations at two of the three crime scenes.

“I will say that I have met with the attorney general, his staff, my staff assigned to the investigation, and the family in the past weeks,” the sheriff said in the message. “I feel strongly that the case is going in the right direction. I would like to urge anyone withholding any information to come forward.

“I have made it clear that anyone who has lied to investigators or has purposefully mislead them in any manner in this case will be arrested and charged accordingly. The search for killers is my top priority.

“We are not investigating any one for criminal activity that they feel may incriminate themselves on in speaking with them to solve 8 [sic] murders. Come forward, be truthful, or we will be coming to arrest and charge anyone that are obstructing any officials investigating this horrific crime.”

He sent an addition to his initial statement, which read, “Including family, friends and neighbors of the victims, if necessary. This case will be solved, we are working for the 8 victims of murder. Anyone that has or attempts, to delay, hamper, or mislead authorities in any fashion will be charged and arrested. Period.”

WCPO.com is reporting that this is the first time Reader has mentioned the family, friends and neighbors of the Rhoden family as possibly obstructing the investigation.

Leonard Manly, whose daughter Dana was one of the victims, told WCPO.com he had “held nothing back” from investigators.

“He can question us all he wants to question us, and he ain’t going to find out one more thing than what we already told him because we don’t know nothing,” he said.

Manley noted that “someone probably does” know something, pointing out that the family’s dogs apparently didn’t confront the killers.

“I mean, they wouldn’t have gotten in there if they didn’t know that dog,” Manley said.

In October, Reader exclusively told reporter Lake he believes the killers are local, living in or near Pike county.

Appointed sheriff in May 2015 after the former sheriff resigned, Reader was elected sheriff on Nov. 8.