DeWine on Pike Co. shootings: Someone involved ‘knew the territory’

Published: Thursday, August 04, 2016 @ 3:23 PM
Updated: Monday, August 08, 2016 @ 1:47 PM

UPDATE @ 12:52 p.m. Aug. 8

 

WHIO’s John Bedell recently touched base with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine regarding the investigation into the unsolved April 22 fatal shootings of eight Rhoden family members in Pike County.

 

DeWine said the murders were “well planned” and executed by more than one person. He said at least one person involved was familiar with the properties where the bodies were found. While investigators have made progress, DeWine said the outcome is still nowhere in sight.

 

A closer look at the 8 victims

 

How Pike County manhunt compares to 121 mass shootings

 

“I’ll tell you we know a lot more today that when we first started,” DeWine said. “We’re still not to the point where we can say, ‘we’re gonna go arrest someone.’ We’re just not to that point yet.”

 

DeWine has kept a tight lid on releasing details of what investigators are learning. Autopsy reports have been withheld from the public.

 

“The reason for that is there’s certain facts that only — at this point — only the murderer knows,” he said. “We don’t want to broadcast those facts. Because once you do, it becomes much more difficult to judge the credibility of something someone comes in and tells you.”

 

DeWine reiterated statements he made at the outset, that “this could be a long investigation.”

 

“It really is like putting together a big, say thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle,” he said. “We’re putting in pieces. A piece here, a piece here, a piece here. At some point it becomes clear. You start seeing a picture and at some point, you figure it out.”

 

Thank God they didn’t take the babies

 

In response to a question on whether the shooters knew the victims, DeWine said certainly those responsible “knew the territory.”

 

“Someone was involved who knew that area, and probably knew those homes and at least some of the people who were victimized. But beyond that I really can’t say.”

 

DeWine responded to questions about the marijuana that was found growing on two properties where bodies were found.

 Pike County shooting: The latest 

“Clearly, this was a serious commercial operation,” said DeWine, who would not confirm whether there are any connections to international drug cartels.

 

“I don’t want to be in a position where we confirm or deny any kind of theory. I don’t think that would be fair as far as our investigation is concerned and our ability to find out who did this,” he said.

 

EARLIER

 

The three surviving children of the victims of the Pike Co. shooting massacre in April that left 8 members of the Rhoden family dead, are in danger according to Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader.

 

According to a report from the Columbus Dispatch, Reader testified at a court hearing and said that the Rhoden family, specifically the three children in the homes where the murders occurred, remain in danger.

 

He also confirmed his investigators are looking for multiple killers, according to the report.

 

No arrests have been made yet for the killings.

 

Reader’s testimony came in a hearing to keep proceedings about the surving Rhoden children closed to the public and the media.

 

Reader told Pike County Juvenile Judge Robert Rosenberger: “I believe if the information about the minor children is released, it would put the minor children or their caregivers in grave danger.”

 

The judge is considering access to hearings for 9-month-old Ruger Rhoden and 3-month-old Kylie Rhoden, both of whom are in foster care.

 

Missing woman found in well hole in neighbor’s shed; man charged with kidnapping

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 3:19 PM

Police arrested a man Wednesday morning after authorities found a missing woman trapped inside his shed.

>> Read more trending news

Jennifer Elliot was reported missing just after midnight Wednesday and was found around 4 a.m. after residents heard her cries coming from a shed on Central Avenue in Blanchester. 

Police went to the 100 block of Central Avenue after a neighbor reported hearing screams coming from the property. Once authorities arrived, they entered a shed in the backyard and found a woman in a well hole covered by multiple objects.

Authorities arrested Dennis Dunn on kidnapping charges after a four-hour standoff with Blanchester police. He was taken to the Clinton County Jail. 

Elliot was taken to the hospital and has since been released. Police said officers saw no obvious signs of physical trauma to Elliott.

Police said Elliot had previously reported that Dunn harassed her. Elliott and Dunn live on the same street.

Elliot filed a report with police in October after she said she got harassing phone calls and texts from Dunn. Elliott declined to participate in any prosecution of Dunn in that case.

Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said Dunn has a history of mental illness.

Veteran, soldier boyfriend accused of shooting, killing therapy dog on video

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 6:16 AM

Marinna Rollins, 23, and Jarren Heng, 25
Cumberland County Sheriff's Office

A North Carolina Army veteran and her soldier boyfriend are facing animal cruelty charges after they allegedly tied her PTSD therapy dog to a tree and filmed themselves shooting and killing the animal.

According to the Fayetteville Observer, Marinna Rollins, 23, and Jarren Heng, 25, laughed on video as they shot Rollins' dog, Cam, with a rifle, said Cumberland County District Attorney Clark Reaves.

>> Read more trending news

Rollins shot Cam, previously named Huey, in the head before firing at him multiple times, the arrest warrant said. Heng also shot the dog on video, the Observer reported.

Rollins, who retired from the Army earlier this year for medical reasons, implied in an April 17 Facebook post that she had found a new home for Cam, the Observer reported.

"Sad he has to go, but he will be much happier where he is heading off to," she wrote, to which Heng replied, "He's gonna have such a great new life," according to the Observer.

Bail was set for $25,000 each for the pair.

Related

Child dies every 9 days from being left alone, inside hot car

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 4:44 PM

A child dies alone in a hot car every 9 days according to kidsandcars.org. April 26 is National Child Vehicular Heatstroke Awareness and Prevention Day. STOCK PHOTO
Breaking News Staff

Summer hasn’t arrived yet in the United States and already 5 children have died if heatstroke after being left alone inside a hot car, according kidsandcars.org.

A child dies every nine days from being left in a hot car, according to the organization that is trying to raise awareness and prevent more tragedy.

A boy died in Moraine  last summer after being found inside a car. 

April 26 is National Child Vehicular Heatstroke Awareness and Prevention Day. 

What parents may not realize is how fast temperatures can rise in a car on an average temperature day. For example, a 70-degree day outside can mean temperatures of 125-degrees inside a car.  Heatstroke can set in quickly in kids.

 

Steps to prevent leaving a child in a hot car: 

  • Put something in the back seat so you have to open the back door when leaving the vehicle - cellphone, employee badge, handbag, left shoe, etc. 
  • Every time you park your vehicle open the back door to make sure no one has been left behind. "Look Before You Lock." 
  • Ask your childcare provider or babysitter to call you within 10 minutes if your child hasn't arrived on time. 
  • Keep a stuffed animal in your child's car seat and move it to the front seat to remind you when your baby is in the back seat. 
  • Focus on driving and avoid cellphone calls and any other distractions while driving.  

>>RELATED: Atlanta dad going to prison after leaving son in hot car

Kidsandcars.org also encourages citizens to call 9-1-1 if they discover a child left alone in a car, and try to locate the driver. 

"If the child is in imminent danger, it may be necessary to break the window furthest away from the child to rescue them," stressed Janette Fennell, president and founder of kidsandcars.org.

WATCH: Body camera captures cop saving man from jumping off 6-story building

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 2:39 PM

A police officer’s body camera captured his dramatic rescue of a man who tried to jump off a 6-story building. 

The Hamden, Connecticut officer chased the man up six flights of stairs after being called to the Whitney Center building to check on an emotionally disturbed man. 

>>MORE BREAKING NEWS: Kidnapped woman found in hole, hidden under debris 

Almost immediately a chase began up six story staircase. 

The officer was able to grab the man and pull him back to safety as he tried to jump from terrace balcony. 

>>MORE BREAKING NEWS: Dash cam captures baby born along SR 725 in Greene County

Officer Justin Martin, who played basketball in college said he used his long reach to make the grab of his life. 

"Everybody got to go home safe and everything worked out well. I was able to help the community that day and I'm really glad it turned out that way," said Martin.