Farm near Rhoden family murder site searched


Authorities unclear if 70-acre property related to slaying

The Times-Gazette



Several law enforcement departments converged Friday morning near Piketon to search an Adams County farm approximately 10 miles from the scene of the April 2016 slaying of eight members of the Rhoden family, according to various news reports.

Authorities have not specified whether or not the search is related to that case, WLWT reported Friday afternoon.

The 70-acre property is located on State Route 32, according to a WLWT report.

The Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the Ohio Department of Corrections STAR Team and deputies from the Adams and Pike county sheriff’s offices are searching a home, the attorney general said.

A spokesperson for the attorney general would not say why authorities were searching the property.

The search began late Friday morning, and at press time, authorities were still at work, saying there was no telling how long it would take to finish the search, according to WLWT.

The Associated Press reported that on April 22, 2016, investigators found seven adults and a teenage boy shot to death at four homes near Piketon, about 70 miles south of Columbus.

According to the AP, Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, Dana Rhoden, 37, Frankie Rhoden, 20, Hanna Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr. 16, Gary Rhoden, 38, Kenneth Rhoden, 44 and Hannah Gilley, 20, were found shot to death in four homes near Piketon.

Three young children were unharmed.

Christopher Rhoden Sr. operated a commercial marijuana growing operation on his property “with the purpose of distributing the marijuana,” according to DeWine, whose office is leading the investigation.

DeWine has said whoever killed the Rhoden family members was familiar with the victims, their homes and the surrounding area, and the Pike County sheriff has said more than one person was involved in killing the family.

The motive remains a mystery, and the case remains unsolved.

DeWine told The Cincinnati Enquirer recently that he believes people living in the area know more than what they’ve told investigators.

The amount for information leading to a conviction remains at $10,000.

The Ohio Supreme Court recently received the unredacted autopsy reports from those killed as it considers media lawsuits seeking access to those full reports from the unsolved case.

Court filings indicated the reports from the Pike County coroner have been submitted under seal following the justices’ April 19 request for them.

The Columbus Dispatch and The Cincinnati Enquirer separately sued for access to the full autopsies.

Authorities want to shield information, arguing its release could compromise their investigation. The coroner says victims’ relatives raised concerns about sharing details of how their loved ones died.

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Authorities unclear if 70-acre property related to slaying

The Times-Gazette