WAVERLY — The appointed, Democratic sheriff who won election while investigating the still-unsolved slayings of eight people from an Ohio family has been sworn in for a full term by the Republican attorney general whose office is helping with the case.
Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader was sworn in for a four-year term by Attorney General Mike DeWine on Wednesday as their offices continue cooperating on the massive investigation into the April slayings involving the extended Rhoden family.
Reader was appointed sheriff less a year before seven adults and a teenage boy were fatally shot in April at three trailers and a camper near Piketon. Most of the victims were repeatedly shot in the head, and some showed signs of bruising, as if they were beaten. Three young children at the scenes were unharmed.
Reader has said several times he believes that whoever was responsible was local. No arrests have been made, and the motive remains a mystery, though the discovery of a large-scale illegal marijuana growing operation at one of the crime scenes has contributed to public speculation that Mexican drug cartels might have been involved.
Reader tells The Columbus Dispatch that he thinks the key to solving the case is getting truthful information from the victims’ friends, family and neighbors, which he says hasn’t always happened.
“With the amount of personnel and resources we have committed to this case since April, I have no doubt that, had we been given truthful and accurate information from those who are closest to our victims, we would have had it solved by now,” Reader said.
Like Reader, DeWine maintains optimism about solving the murders.
“We will find out who did it, we will be able to file charges, but how long it will take, I don’t know,” DeWine told WSYX-TV.