Published: Wed, November 14, 2018

OH family arrested for killing eight people

OH family arrested for killing eight people

Wagner III, 47, and Angela Wagner, 48, a married couple, and their two sons George Wagner IV, 27, and Edward (Jake) Wagner, 26, were arrested Tuesday and charged with the April 2016 murders, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said.

A Pike County grand jury on Monday indicted all four on charges of aggravated murder. DeWine said investigators believe the responsible parties are now in custody and no other individuals are involved in the mass murders.

"We promised that the day would come when the arrests would be made in the Pike County Massacres", Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told a crowd of reporters Tuesday.

"Billy" was arrested on Tuesday afternoon on Georgetown Road near Spur Road in Lexington, Kentucky, by Lexington Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

DeWine's office lists the victims as Christopher Rhoden, Sr., 40, his ex-wife Dana Manley Rhoden, 37, and their three children, Hanna May Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, and Clarence "Frankie" Rhoden, 20.

The announcement marked the culmination of a massive investigative effort that began after seven adults and a teenage boy were found shot in the head at four separate homes in April 2016.

Heavily redacted versions of the autopsy reports released past year showed all but one of the victims were shot multiple times in the head, but details about any other injuries and toxicology test results weren't released.

DeWine said at the time there were children in the house, noting a mother, was killed in bed with a four-day-old infant. Edward Wagner shares a young daughter with victim Hanna Rhoden. The daughter was not present during the attacks.

"There certainly was obsession with custody, obsession with control of children", he said.

Dewine said the case involved an "obsession with the custody and control of children" and called it one of the most weird situations he has seen. Additional reporting states three of Wagner's relatives are also in custody. "But not carefully enough", Reader said.


There were no witnesses to the shooting but the suspects left traces, authorities said.

An Ohio family carefully studied the habits of members of another family - learning their routines, the layouts of their homes, and where they slept - before planning a deadly massacre that stunned a rural town, a prosecutor said Tuesday. The arrests were a total surprise to the Wagners, according to authorities.

Angela Wagner was arrested at her Scioto County home, and George and Eric Wagner were arrested in Ross County on a traffic stop. Billy Wagner was arrested in Fayette County, Ky.

Four people are under arrest more than two years after a gruesome incident in Pike County, Ohio in which eight members of the same family were murdered. But they were often tight-lipped about their findings, and resisted releasing information such as autopsies to the media.

Mr DeWine, elected Ohio Governor last week, did not pinpoint a motive but suggested the primary intent of the killers was custody of a small child, whose father was a Wagner and mother a Rhoden. They were reportedly close friends with the Rhodens, and lived near the scenes of the killings.

The Wagners had since moved to Alaska, before coming back to Pike County this spring.

Two grandmothers, Rita Newcomb, 65, of South Webster, and Fredericka Wagner, 76, of Lucasville, were also charged with felony obstruction of justice and perjury for allegedly misleading investigators.

"We look forward to the day when the true culprits will be discovered and brought to justice for this bad tragedy", the lawyer, John Clark, said in a statement Tuesday. DeWine acknowledged that "Pike County is a small county and we clearly have to do something in OH to make sure these counties have the ability to carry out justice". He also says empaneling a jury in Pike County could be hard.

"We're not going to leave the county until we have solved these terrible murders".

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