Eight members of the same family were killed in rural Ohio by a gunman that law enforcement have described as an "annihilator." Reporters in Pike and Adams County have named the victims as the Rhoden family. The victims were killed in what authorities are calling "execution style." All were shot in the head. Investigators in the area said that they are still searching for the suspect after the gruesome discovery of seven bodies was made.
Just after 12 p.m., Ohio's Attorney General Mike DeWine said an eighth body had been found in relation to the shootings. The gunman remains at-large. The Chillicothe Gazette reports that police were first called to a home on Union Hill Road after reports of a fatality. Leonard Manley told the newspaper that his daughter was there to feed the dogs and chickens as part of her "normal routine." Two bodies were found at the first crime scene. From there, neighbors told officers to check on two other homes along Union Hill Road, there five more bodies were found. Hours later, an eighth and final body was found close by.
The town of Peebles, located in Adams County, is 90 miles east of Cincinnati and 85 miles south of Columbus. Ohio's Governor and GOP presidential candidate John Kasich called the incident "tragic beyond comprehension."
The victims are husband-to-be and father Frankie Rhoden, his fiancee Hannah Hazel Gilley, young mother Hanna May Rhoden, grandmother Dana Lynn Rhoden, her ex-husband Christoper Rhoden, Kenneth Rhoden, Gary Rhoden, and 16-year-old Chris Rhoden Jr. In a brief statement, a family member said on April 23: "The Rhoden family would like to thank everyone for all the outpouring of prayers and support for their family. They ask that you continue to keep them in your prayers.
They want to thank all law enforcement from Pike County and all surrounding counties for their immediate response, especially to Sheriff Charlie Reader, the Pike County Sheriff, for all his hard work. They’d like to thank the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, his staff, BCI agents, all EMS services and all first responders. Special thanks to Pike County Victim Advocate David Dickerson and the victim’s advocates responding from surrounding counties. They would like to give a special thanks to the Ohio Crisis Response Team for their care and support.
They ask that everyone be respectful of their family, of their loss at this time, and they also have a plea to anyone who has any information in this matter to call 1-855-BCI-OHIO."
Frankie Rhoden and Chris Rhoden Jr. are brothers, their parents are Dana and Christopher Rhoden. The Chillicothe Gazette in their report on the massacre says that Dana and Christopher are divorced.
Here are the photos that celebrate the lives of the Rhoden family, lives that were ended far too soon: