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

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

NEW DEVELOPMENTS in search connected to Rhoden family murders

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.

New police searches prompt questions on Pike Co. killings

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.

OSP cruiser hit in Dayton after I-75N pursuit from Middletown

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 12:01 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 2:21 AM

Pursuit ends on Keowee St in Dayton

A trooper’s cruiser was struck Wednesday night in Dayton during a pursuit that began in Middletown.

The chase involved a white Chevrolet Camaro, which began on northbound Interstate 75 south of exit 32 (Ohio 122).

>> Report: Thousands in jewelry stolen from Rogers Jewelers in Middletown

Three people were taken into custody, and the trooper was not hurt, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Hamilton Post.

>> Local news: Shots fired, 3 injured in crash on Germantown Street in Dayton

Keowee Street was closed just north of Third Street and police had taped the area off for the investigation.

A Miamisburg man said he was in his vehicle at East Third and Keowee streets when a white Camaro — its headlights out — raced by him from behind.

>> Police: 9-year-old boy brings loaded handgun to school

T.C. Cavinder said the sports car narrowly missed his and another vehicle, hit curbs along Keowee and stopped near a bridge. A man in the Camaro hopped out and threw up his hands, Cavinder said.

We are working to find out what led to the pursuit.

Convicted rapist won't have joint custody of victim's child after judge rescinds ruling

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 1:49 AM

Woman’s Rapist Gets Joint Custody Of Child He Fathered In Assault

The Michigan judge behind a controversial ruling last month, which granted a convicted sex offender joint legal custody to the child conceived by his 12-year-old victim in 2008, has rescinded his decisionCBS News reports.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Woman’s rapist gets joint custody of child he fathered in assault

Sanilac County Judge Gregory Ross ruled Tuesday that 27-year-old Christopher Mirasolo will not have any parental rights to the 8-year-old boy. However, he will still be expected to pay for child support.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Lawyer: Rapist granted joint custody of boy he fathered will not seek visitation

Mirasolo was not seeking custody of the child. This odd scenario started when the mother, now 21, sought state assistance for her son. Ross ruled for joint legal custody after a DNA test verified Mirasolo was the boy’s biological father.

>> On Rare.us: In wake of #MeToo, men are vowing to make changes with hashtag of their own

Why did Ross initially grant Mirasolo legal custody? John Nevin, a spokesman for the Michigan Supreme Court, said that Ross wasn’t aware of Mirasolo’s two convictions, nor of how he and the mother were connected. After learning of Mirasolo’s record, Ross put the order on hold and rescheduled a hearing for Tuesday.

In a statement released to the Port Huron Times Herald, Sanilac County Prosecutor James Young said he wanted to “express [officials’] apologies for the manner in which this case was handled.”

>> Read more trending news 

The mother, identified only as Tiffany, spoke to CBS News earlier this month and expressed dismay that the judge would grant her attacker joint custody of her son. She said she had to provide the father’s name as a condition of receiving state financial assistance.

“I was receiving government assistance, and they told me if I did not tell them who the father was of my child, that they would take that away from me,” Tiffany said.

She said “horrible things” and “flashbacks” still come to mind when she hears Mirasolo’s name.

Police: 9-year-old boy brings loaded handgun to Middletown school

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 6:14 PM

A 9-year-old boy who said he was being picked on brought a loaded handgun to school.

A teacher at Rosa Parks Elementary School on Monday morning noticed a bulge in the boy’s pants pocket. When she reached for it, the third-grader grabbed her arm, Middletown police Lt. David Birk said.

“The teacher confiscated the gun, gave it to the SRO (school resource officer) and the incident was reported to police,” Middletown City Schools spokeswoman Elizabeth Beadle said.

The incident happened at 10:40 a.m. inside a classroom at the school, 2210 Verity Parkway, Middletown.

>>Middletown woman fires gun into air as break-in suspects flee home

The boy was taken to the Butler County Juvenile Justice Center, where he is being held on suspicion of felonious assault, conveyance of a weapon into the school and carrying a concealed weapon, Birk said.

Beadle would not provide information on what discipline the student could face, citying privacy laws.

The boyfriend of the boy's mother also was arrested on suspicion of child endangering, according to a Middletown police report. Jerron Dean, 29, had his arraignment continued to Nov. 1, according to online Middletown Municipal Court records.

(Staff Writer Michael Clark contributed to this report)

Fire in vacant Dayton dwelling ‘suspicious in nature,’ district chief says

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 6:52 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 9:21 PM

An investigator has been called to a fire in the 2800 block of Salem Avenue, at Parkhill Drive, in a dwelling believed to be vacant.

UPDATE @ 9:15 p.m.: The fire in a vacant dwelling in the 2800 block of Salem Avenue is being investigated as “suspicious in nature,” Dayton Fire District Chief Tim Rose said. 

The building, at Parkhill Drive, was boarded up and 30 firefighters successfully prevented flames from damaging two adjacent properties, Rose said. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Area Puerto Rican group collects aid for island

An investigator was called because witnesses told fire crews that people were seen in the area of the dwelling. 

There were no injuries, Rose said. "We sent nobody in the building." 

He estimated damage to the structure at $40,000.

INITIAL REPORT

An investigator has been called to a fire in the 2800 block of Salem Avenue, at Parkhill Drive, in a dwelling believed to be vacant.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Boy, 9, brings loaded gun to school

Dayton crews were dispatched just before 6 p.m. on a report that flames were said to be showing from a two-story dwelling. 

We're hearing that crews went to a defensive posture, allowing the structure to burn, because it was vacant. 

We will update this report as information becomes available. 

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com