Pike County killings: SWAT team searches for evidence in Rhoden family slayings

Published: Saturday, May 13, 2017 @ 7:33 PM

A special weapons and tactics team joined a large-scale, cross-jurisdictional search effort on Saturday connected to the Rhoden family mass slayings last year.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Marc Gofstein confirmed to this news outlet’s media partner WBNS-TV in Columbus that its SWAT team helped search for possible evidence related to the April 22, 2016, execution-style killings of a teenager and seven adults at four homes near Piketon. He did not know whether any evidence was found.

RELATED: Pike County killings: ‘End this nightmare,’ Rhoden family survivors plea

“It’s correct that we were continuing our search today,” Dan Tierney, spokesman for DeWine’s office said this evening.

Tierney also said Franklin County joined the effort but did not say in what role. The search today in Pike County was related to the Friday searches in Adams County. Tierney said he was unable to comment on specific locations searched nor what law enforcement was seeking. He also said no arrests were made in connection to today’s searches nor the Rhoden slayings.

RELATED: Pike County killings: A closer look at the 8 victims

The searches are part of a joint investigation among the AG’s office and its Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the sheriff’s offices of Adams, Pike counties, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections special tactics and response team.

Property searched Friday included a 71-acre property off Peterson Road at Ohio 32 in Oliver Twp., Adams County. The property is co-owned by 24-year-old Edward Jacob Wagner and George W. Wagner IV, 25. One of the victims in the slaying, Hanna Rhoden, had a 2-year-old daughter named Sophia Wagner, who was not with her when she was gunned down in her home. Sophia Wagner’s father is Jake Wagner but it’s not clear whether Edward Jake Wagner and Jake Wagner are the same person.

The victims in the April 22, 2016, case are: Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, Clarence Rhoden, 20, Dana Rhoden, 37, Gary Rhoden, 38, Hanna Rhoden, 19, Hannah Gilley, 20, Kenneth Rhoden, 44.

Hanna Rhoden was found dead lying next to her other daughter, who was just 4 days old. The baby was one of three young children left unharmed.

A $10,000 reward is available and officials want to increase the amount, saying anyone interested in donating may call 1-855-BCI-OHIO.

Missing Florida teen considered in danger, may be with man she met on Facebook

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 1:45 AM

Victoria Stites
Palm Bay Police Department

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a Florida teen who is missing and considered to be in danger.

>> Watch the news report here

Victoria Stites, of Palm Bay, is 19, but her mental capacity is lower than her age, Palm Bay police say. She is possibly traveling to Jamaica, New York, with a man she met on Facebook.

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She was last seen Saturday leaving her Palm Bay home, north of Vero Beach, wearing a green shirt and black jeans, and carrying a purple duffel bag. 

She has blonde/brown hair and brown eyes. She is about 5-foot-7 and weighs 135 to 140 pounds. 

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call 1-800-423-TIPS. 

Related

Deputies: Naked, bloody man is suspect in Jefferson Twp. hammer attack

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 10:11 PM
Updated: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 11:45 PM

UPDATE @ 11:45 p.m.

A man was taken into custody tonight after employees at a wastewater treatment facility in Jefferson Twp. reported a naked, bloody man was trespassing.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded around 7:30 p.m. to Clean Water Ltd., 300 Cherokee Drive, and determined the trespasser was the suspect in an earlier felonious assault in the township. Deputies with the assistance of Trotwood and Dayton police searched the complex and were able to find him. They took the suspect into custody without incident, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies responded around 6:15 p.m. to an assault in the 20 block of South Northampton Avenue after one person hit another in the head with a hammer, the sheriff’s office said.

The suspect -- later identified as the man trespassing at the wastewater treatment  plant -- fled and the victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital.

The names of the suspect arrested and the victim were not released.

Deputies said the incidents remain under investigation.

FIRST REPORT

One person was taken into custody tonight after a report of a bloody and naked man at a wastewater treatment facility in Jefferson Twp.

The incident was reported around 7:30 p.m. at Clean Water Ltd, 300 Cherokee Drive, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center. 

It's not clear why the man was bloody and nude, nor why he showed up at the business. 

Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies took one person from the scene to the county jail. 

We are working to learn more about the incident.

Police seek robber who held up Chase Bank in Dayton

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 6:27 PM

A masked man held up a Chase Bank branch Friday morning in Dayton.

The suspect demanded tellers to empty several money drawers before he fled through the front entrance of the bank, 1078 Patterson Road, according to a Dayton police report.

The suspect is described as a man with an athletic build standing 5 feet 10 inches. He was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, black pants, black gloves and a mask, the report stated.

He was last seen running towards apartment buildings behind the bank and may have fled in a vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to call Miami Valley CrimeStoppers, 937-222-STOP (7867).

OSP: Man crashes into Middletown police cruiser, admits drug abuse

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 9:03 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 7:10 PM

A driver who admitted to law enforcement he was impaired while driving struck a Middletown Division of Police cruiser Saturday morning, June 24, 2017, which forced the cruiser to strike a pickup truck in Middletown. FACEBOOK
FACEBOOK

UPDATE @ 7:10 p.m.

The Middletown Division of Police used social media today to say all of Middletown needs to take a stand against opioid abuse after an impaired driver crashed into a cruiser this morning. The officers in the cruiser were on their way to a report of an overdose when the crash happened.

“Very definition of ironic. Thankful our two officers made it out safely after being hit by a person suspected of opioid abuse while en route to an overdose call early this morning,” police posted to its Facebook page.

UPDATE @ 1:55 p.m.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Lebanon Post Sgt. Tom Bloomberg said charges likely will be filed Monday in Middletown against a man who admitted to being under the influence of drugs when he crashed into a Middletown Division of Police cruiser early this morning. 

Adam Danner, of Middletown, allegedly ran a red light around 4:20 p.m. at Grand Avenue and Breiel Boulevard and struck the cruiser. The cruiser then careened into opposing traffic and struck a southbound pickup truck.

“There are going to be charges,” Bloomberg said. “There will definitely be OVI because he admitted to being impaired and obviously showed signs of impairment.” 

Officers and the truck driver were treated by medics at the scene. Danner was taken to a Middletown hospital for treatment of injuries. As of this afternoon, Atrium Medical Center no longer has Danner listed as a patient.

EARLIER

A Middletown man is believed to have been on drugs when he crashed into Middletown Division of Police cruiser in a three-vehicle crash this morning. 

The crash occurred around 4:20 a.m. when the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Adam Danner ran a red light at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Breiel Boulevard and struck the cruiser.

According to a release from the highway patrol’s Hamilton Post, the impact sent the cruiser into the opposite lane of traffic and into a southbound truck. 

The two officers in the cruiser and the pickup truck driver were treated at the scene. Danner was taken to Atrium Medical Center in Middletown with minor injuries. 

Deputies said while in the hospital, Danner admitted to using drugs before driving.

The crash remains under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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