DeWine: Pike County murders ‘very hot’ case

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 1:11 PM

            Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, left, discusses the ongoing investigation into the unsolved killings of eight family members in southern Ohio on April 22, 2016, at a news conference attended by Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office is leading the investigation, on Thursday, April 13, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Reader and DeWine both said they believe individuals may be holding back information out of fear of self-incrimination over their own, unrelated drug crimes. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the Pike County murders are a “very hot” case, though it remains unclear how close investigators are to making an arrest.

DeWine said he believes “some decent progress” has been made in the year since the murders in Pike County. His comments were made during a radio interview with WHIO’s Larry Hansgen on Miami Valley’s Morning News.

MORE: Pike County Murders: ‘There will always be a scar on this town’

“We know a lot more today than when the murders took place, I can tell you that,” said DeWine, without specifics due, he maintains, to protecting the integrity of the case.

DeWine acknowledged, though, there are likely persons with information who aren’t being honest with investigators.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt … there are people who know things they are simply not telling us,” DeWine said. “Anyone who has information and is afraid to give it to us because it might implicate them in some growing of marijuana or some sort of involvement in drugs, we want to assure them our focus is not on that.”

MORE: Rhoden family makes plea for information

DeWine’s comments came before his office released a video of Rhoden family members seeking information in the case. He said the video is “gut wrenching.”

Surveillance photo released in Kettering home invasion

Published: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 @ 12:59 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2016 @ 3:45 PM

UPDATE @ 3:45 p.m. (Dec. 15)

Kettering police released surveillance photos of home invasion suspects and a suspect vehicle used.

Two male suspects entered the home at 2645 South Blvd. and held a family at gunpoint before removing items from the home.

The suspects were wearing masks and had handguns, backpacks and carry bags. The suspects arrived in the neighborhood in a light-colored Dodge Challenger with five-spoke wheels.

Anyone with information call Detective Mason at 937-296-2583.


A Kettering home invasion victim is now the focus of a narcotics investigation, according to police.

  • Kettering police were called to a home on South Boulevard shortly after midnight on Tuesday.
  • The victims told police two armed men forced their way inside house and searched for money.
  • Investigators say they realized something wasn’t right, and something else was going on inside the house.
  • Police found a marijuana grow operation inside the victim’s house.

Bobby Napier, 35, has been charged with with cultivation and child endangering.

Kettering police initially said they were unsure if the occupants were the intended targets, after two armed men forced their way inside the home in the 2600 block of South Boulevard around 12:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Officer John Jung says the questioning took a turn. Police said their investigation found that narcotics were involved and are the suspected reason for the targeted home invasion.

“Our officers got some indication that something else was going on in the house,” he said. “A narcotics investigation was opened up at that victim’s house. Through the detective work, we were able to locate a grow operation inside that house.”

Neighbors said they were not surprised police found drugs in the home, however they are surprised those being charged with having the drugs called police.

Officer Jung agreed.

“It’s kind of backwards thinking to have the police be called to a scene because you’re a victim of a crime and at the same time you have a grow operation going on inside your house,” he said.

No one was harmed and nothing was taken during the home invasion.

Kettering police said a neighbor’s security cameras captured images of two suspects fleeing from the home invasion. The suspects were observed by the cameras leaving the area in a white, newer model Dodge Challenger.

Officers described the suspects as two men standing between 5 feet, 7 inches and 5 feet, 10 inches, both wearing scarves over their faces.

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Deputies: Mother locks 11-year-old in car, sets it on fire

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 9:44 AM

Authorities arrested a 48-year-old woman on Tuesday after she was accused of binding her 11-year-old son’s wrists, locking him in a car and setting it on fire at a Michigan cemetery, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

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Deputies and firefighters were called around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday by the suspect’s 50-year-old husband, who was worried that his wife might have harmed their son. Officials learned the couple’s car was on fire at Roselawn Memorial Park in LaSalle Township.

Deputies found a smoking 2014 Ford Focus at the cemetery, but neither the woman nor her son were nearby. Authorities found the pair talking to staff in a different part of the cemetery and arrested the woman on charges of attempted murder and arson.

She was taken to ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital for evaluation. Her son was also taken to the hospital and later released.

Authorities said a preliminary investigation found the mother bound her son’s wrists and locked him inside the Focus. She set fire to the trunk of the car as the boy struggled to get out, deputies said.

“The mother later attempted to ignite a fire using gasoline inside the passenger compartment where the boy sat,” deputies said in a news release. “This fire did not ignite.”

When the fire failed to catch, the woman let her son out of the car and walked away. The pair found a cemetery employee, who freed the boy from his bindings, according to authorities.

Deputies continue to investigate the case.


Woman accused of pinning man with vehicle at Rally’s

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 5:33 PM

Ashea Smith, Montgomery County Jail

A woman is jailed and a man hospitalized after a fight early today outside a Dayton Rally’s restaurant. 

Dayton police were called about 1 a.m. Wednesday to Rally's at 1111 S. Smithville Road.

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A 25-year-old man suffered a leg injury after a woman allegedly hit him with her car and caused him to be pinned up against the wall.

The man told police he had confronted a woman for parking too close to his BMW SUV. He was taken to Miami Valley Hospital. 

A worker told police he heard arguing and came outside to see the man pinned and the woman, later identified as Ashea Smith, 29, continuing to yell at him. 

Smith remains in Montgomery County Jail on a felonious assault charge. She told police she felt scared after the man reportedly cussed, spit and threw mulch in her direction.

Florida woman accused of choking, killing Chihuahua for biting her hand

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 3:53 PM

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Deputies arrested a Florida woman Tuesday on suspicion of killing her 12-year-old Chihuahua after the dog bit her hand.

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Monroe County sheriff’s deputies were called Saturday by the Florida Keys SPCA after the animal welfare group learned that a woman told staff at a Marathon hospital that she killed her dog.

Alice Evans, 61, told authorities that her dog, Big John Evans, had been becoming more aggressive in recent weeks. He bit her on the hand Friday night, the third time he had bit her this year.

“She said she went to bed that night, woke at 5 a.m. and choked him to death with his collar,” deputies said in a news release.

She buried the dog in her backyard. Deputies noted that she had a “small wound” on her hand.

“When asked why she didn’t call the animal shelter for help with the dog, she had no answer,” deputies said.

Officers dug up the dog’s body and took it to a veterinary hospital for a necropsy.

“The cause of death was determined to indeed be strangulation, a death which would have, according to reports, resulted in ‘the infliction of pain, suffering and injury,’” deputies said.

Authorities arrested Evans on one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a third-degree felony. She was jailed on a $25,000 bond and released before Wednesday afternoon, jail records showed.