Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader announces arrests in 2016 slayings by eight family members in the Ohio countryside. John Minchillo…
John Minchillo / AP
Four people arrested more than two years after a cruel event in Pike County, Ohio, where eight members of the same family were killed.
Ohio lawyer Mike DeWine says four members of the Wagner family were imprisoned on Tuesday in the shooting deaths of eight members of the Rhodes family on April 22, 2016.
The four are responsible for planning and executing the killings are: George “Billy” Wagner III, 47, Angela Wagner, 48, George Wagner IV, 27, and Edward “Jake” Wagner, 26.
All four are accused of a crimes litigation, including deteriorating murder with death penalty specification. You can read the complete allegations here.
“These four are now held to claim to commit this heartless, ruthless, cold-blooded murder,” DeWine said on Tuesday afternoon.
“We have absolutely no evidence that someone else was involved,” says DeWine. “The people who did it are in storage.”
A lawyer for the Wagner families tells The Associated Press that his customers will be righteous. Attorney John Clark says the family is waiting for the day “when the true offenders will be discovered and brought to justice for this terrible tragedy”.
The Wagner family has stated spent months planning the killers. Although he did not speak with a motive, DeWine suggested that the slayings were part of a drafted storage system. Jake Wagner is the father of Hanna May Rhodes older daughter, whom DeWine’s office says was living with Wagner’s family on the night of the killings.
“It was really obsession with custody, obsession with child control,” says DeWine. “This is just the most bizarre story I’ve ever seen in being involved in law enforcement. The whole story it will develop during the trial is just amazing.”
Two other women, Rita Newcomb and Fredericka Wanger, the mothers of Angela Wagner and Billy Wagner were also arrested and accused of participating in the cover and with misleading authorities.
DeWine’s office had requested information about the four Wagner family members in June 2017. The case stymied investigators, though They have always claimed that they would resolve the case.
The eight families in Rhoden were killed in four homes near Piketon in southern Ohio.
According to CNN, the victims Hanna May Rhoden, 19; Kenneth Rhoden, 44; his brother Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, and his ex-wife, Dana Rhoden, 37; Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; Hannah Gilley, 20, Engaged with Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden; and Gary Rhoden, 38, a cousin.
A newborn, another baby and a young child were left unscathed in what DeWine calls the only mercy that Wagner showed.
“All eight victims were killed in cold blood,” says DeWine. “They were shot in their own homes. They were brutally and maliciously executed. The murderers knew the territory and carefully planned these horrendous murders.”
Pike County Prosecutor Robert Junk expects the trials will take several years.
Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader almost came to tears while discussing the effect of this case on the Pike County community. He was at work less than a year when the shootings occurred.
“Members of a family conjured, planned, performed and then claimed to cover their violent action to eradicate members of another family,” says Reader. “They did it quickly, cold, calm and very careful … but not enough enough.”
Reader, Junk and DeWine all agree that this is one of the biggest cases Ohio has ever seen.
“Without question, this has been the longest, most complex and labor-intensive investigation that the Ohio Attorney General Office has ever undertaken,” said DeWine. “It has been the most sophisticated, the biggest operation [the Bureau of Criminal Investigation] has ever committed.”
The reader says that Pike County is a resilient society and much more than the place where eight people fought.
“We are a place that allows shy killer to escape his crimes under darkness. We are the place to find justice for victims and today is a big step on that road, “he says.
He also reminded people that the victims’ families will need to revive their horrors when trials develop. Rhodes family connection to drugs and some illegal activities were often discussed as motives in the weeks after slayings.
“Whether we found marijuana on the traits, the vehicles … everything we have done we have done because the victims had no voice and we are theirs vote now. We worked an eight-hour murder, not a marijuana explosion room.
“I believe today that they deserve more respect – because they are true victims of a devastating crime that has never seen before … We are talking about arresting the people responsible for killing eight People in this county. We do not talk about the eight people who have a marijuana-growing space. “
DeWine added:” Part of the relationship that was involved with some of the people involved … there was an undercurrent of drugs. “” There is no evidence of all speculation that this was drug-related in the opposite sense. “