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Pike County murders: What’s really going on?

Published: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 3:02 PM
Updated: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 4:08 PM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Pike County Sheriff talked to the media Thursday morning and provided an update to the Rogan family deaths from 2016.

The largest criminal investigation in Ohio history has generated 800 tips, half as many police interviews and 38 search warrants. But nearly a year after the mass killings of eight family members in Pike County, no one has been arrested for the murders.

April 22 marks the one-year anniversary of the execution-style shootings, and our news crews have interviewed Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, neighbors and friends of the victims. They all say the case has taken a toll on the community and themselves.

MORE ON PIKE COUNTY
» APRIL 23, 2016: After murders, a rural town on edge
» APRIL 29, 2016: 'Cold-blooded calculated massacre': One week later in Pike County
» AUG. 8, 2016: Arrests needed in ‘tragically evil’ Pike Co. shootings, pastor says
» AUG. 24, 2016: Pike County shootings show “similarities” to Kentucky murders

“I think about this every morning, and it’s the last thing I think about every night,” Reader said.

“I see the look of disappointment when I speak with the family, and I look into their eyes and see the grieving they still have,” he said.

Reader said the anniversary could bring renewed attention to the case, meaning the potential for new tips and information for investigators.

» ABOUT THE VICTIMS: A closer look at the 8 who died

DeWine said that marijuana grow operations found at two of the four crime scenes might have hampered the investigation.

“This is a homicide investigation,” DeWine said. “It’s not that we don’t care what you’ve done with drugs — we care, but our focus is on the homicide, and so people should not be concerned about coming forward and disclosing information that may be helpful in the investigation that also incriminates themselves.”

MORE ON PIKE COUNTY 
» DEC. 5, 2016: Pike County killings captured the nation's attention 
» PHOTOS: Scenes from Pike County six months after a massacre 
» APRIL 11, 2017: Ohio covers funeral costs for Pike County murder victims 

A look at the southern Ohio case, by the numbers:

10-12 investigators working on the case in any given week.

800 tips received by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Pike County Sheriff’s Office.

400 interviews conducted by investigators, including multiple interviews of some individuals.

38 search warrants have been executed. 

4 different homes were crime scenes at which eight Rhoden family members were found shot to death, including wives, husbands, sons, daughters and fiancees.

3 children were spared by the killer or killers, one 3 years old, and two infants, one 6 months and a 4-day-old baby snuggled in bed next to a mother shot execution style.

3 marijuana grow sites were found at the homes of Kenneth Rhoden and Chris Rhoden Sr., both of whom were killed.

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

Sheriff’s deputy arrested, accused of stealing cash, credit cards from crime scene

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:00 PM

Deputy Arrested For Stealing From Crime Scene

An Orange County deputy was arrested Tuesday on allegations he stole cash, credit cards and a wallet from a crime scene Sunday.

Deputies said the deputy, Joseph Haddad, responded to a burglary. The case evolved into a narcotics investigation in which the person who reported the burglary, Sammy Shehata, was arrested for allegedly possessing marijuana.

>> Read more trending news

Shehata asked deputies if he could gather his belongings and while doing so noticed his wallet, $1,750 and credit cards were missing.

Shehata said Haddad was inside the house when he went to retrieve his things.

“He even said, ‘Well, I don’t have it.’ It’s not like I asked him if he had it,” Shehata said.

An investigation was launched against Haddad, and Osceola County deputies discovered the cards had been used in their jurisdiction.

Shehata said that, when he got out jail, he had notifications from his bank that his credit cards had been used, so he reported it to the sheriff’s office.

Osceola County deputies assisted with the investigation, which led to Haddad’s arrest after a search of his home.

He was booked into the Osceola County Jail on a grand theft charge.

According to the charging affidavit, Haddad and his wife were seen on camera using Shehata’s cards at Target and Walmart in Osceola County.

The report said they bought a baby crib, baby monitor, clothing, household goods and other baby supplies.

When questioned, Haddad told investigators he accidentally took the wallet while processing evidence and that it wasn’t until he got to Target that he realized he was using someone else’s credit card.

Haddad was relieved of duty without pay and was stripped of his law enforcement authority.

He was hired by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in April 2016.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings released a statement about the incident Wednesday.

“The facts in this case are troubling to me. The Orange County Sheriff's Office is not a place for a liar or thief to work. I am committed to ensuring that such individuals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that they will be fired.”

$338M Powerball winner accused of child sex abuse

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 9:56 AM

Winner Of $338M Powerball Jackpot Accused Of Child Sex Abuse

A New Jersey man who made headlines in 2013 when he won a $338 million Powerball jackpot has been arrested on suspicion of child sexual assault, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Pedro Quezada, 49, is accused of sexually assaulting a girl over the course of three years, starting when she was 11 years old, NJ.com reported. He faces charges of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, two counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said.

It was not immediately clear when the sexual abuse was alleged to have occurred.

A judge ordered Quezada held without bail Wednesday, according to The Record. His attorney, Steve Wukovits, told the newspaper that his client was targeted.

“He has money,” Wukovits told The Record. “That’s why he’s being targeted in this case.”

Quezada won a $338 million Powerball jackpot in 2013 and took his winnings in a lump-sum payout that amounted to $152 million after taxes, NJ.com reported.

“My life will change because of it – so much money – but it will not change my heart,” Quezada said after his win.

Quezada is scheduled to appear in court for a detention hearing Sept. 25.

Ex-Dayton Children’s doctor sex crimes trial date set

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 9:37 AM

Arun Aggarwal
Arun Aggarwal

The sex assault case of a former Dayton Children’s doctor will head to trial in 2018, according to court records.

Arun Aggarwal, 40, faces four counts of gross sexual imposition for allegedly touching two female teenage patients’ breasts. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

PREVIOUS: Former Children’s doctor arraigned in court

His trial date is set for Jan. 22 after a final pre-trial conference on Jan. 11, Judge Mary Wiseman said.

Aggarwal is a former pediatric gastroenterologist at Dayton Children’s. The incidents allegedly occurred between Dec. 23, 2013, and Nov. 10, 2014. The charges are fourth-degree felonies.

A request to Aggarwal’s attorney for comment was not immediately returned.

Aggarwal was arrested in August after attempting to flee the country, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. Aggarwal was arrested in Washington D.C. after flying from Cleveland to Dulles International Airport in an attempt to catch a connecting flight to India.

MORE: Board revokes license of doctor accused of touching two teens’ breasts

A 2015 investigation by Dayton police concluded with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office declining to take the case to grand jury because one of the alleged victims wouldn’t testify, according to records obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

An investigation by the Dayton Daily News this year found hospital and university administrators opted not to report the allegations against Aggarwal to police. After the first complaint, they issued him a warning. After the second, they set up a policy requiring a nurse or other health professional to be in the room whenever he examined a female patient over the age of 10.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck said he re-opened the case because additional evidence came out during testimony about the accusation before the state medical board. The board in May revoked Aggarwal’s medical license.

Aggarwal told state medical board investigators that his actions were medically necessary as parts of examinations of the two girls.

MORE: Records reveal hospital debate over sexual misconduct allegations

In announcing the charges, Heck said allegations like those made against Aggarwal should be brought to law enforcement immediately.

Police learned of the allegations when a Children’s manager reported it to police on her own.

Since then, Dayton Children’s has said they have strengthened their processes in responding to allegations of this nature and have implemented “one of the most stringent chaperone policies in the country.”

Body found behind abandoned house ID’d as Kettering woman

Published: Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 6:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:45 PM

FROM SCENE: Detectives respond to body found in Dayton

UPDATE @ 11:45 p.m. (Sept. 20):

The Kettering woman found dead in Dayton under suspicious circumstances is survived by two children.

The body of Deanna Prendergast, 39, was found Friday behind a vacant home in a neighborhood off North Main Street.

“When the public found her, they indicated there was some kind of door on her,” Dayton police Sgt. Creigee Coleman said.

READ: Man recovered from Wolf Creek in Dayton was focus of endangered missing alert

Officers found two steak knives and a phone close to Prendergast’s body. She had abrasions and it appeared she’d been there for some time, according to a Dayton police report.

The discovery shocked Prendergast’s neighbors in Kettering. One woman, who didn’t want to be identified, said Prendergast left her home a few months ago and had been seen panhandling at street corners in Kettering and Dayton.

READ: 2 motorcycle crash in Fairborn sends 3 to hospital

“Saw her on Main Street with the same sign, ‘homeless have two kids, anything will help,’ ” the former neighbor said. “It’s sad. My heart breaks for her children.”

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has not determined a cause of death for Prendergast.

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UPDATE @ 9:25 a.m. (Sept. 19): 

A woman who was found dead behind an abandoned house in Dayton has been identified by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office as Deanna Prendergast, 39, of Kettering. 

TRENDING: Woman sues Ohio funeral home, alleges baby’s ashes were mishandled

Prendergast’s cause of death and results of her autopsy are still pending. 

UPDATE @ 11:11 a.m. (Sept. 18):

A Dayton police report revealed knives and “overdose evidence” were recovered from the scene where a woman’s body was found “covered in insects” and “in a significant state of decomposition” Friday afternoon.

The woman’s identity has not been released pending notification of family, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.  An autopsy on the woman had not yet happened on Monday morning, a spokesman said.

LOCAL NEWS: 5 overdose patients driven to Sidney hospital

Officers responded to a vacant house on East Hudson Avenue after someone called police saying someone was found deceased with a wooden door over her, the report said.

The woman was not clothed, according to the report.

A black cell phone and two kitchen-style steak knives were found near her body.  The report also said the woman “appeared to have multiple abrasions on her body.”

Due to the suspicious circumstances surrounding the woman’s death homicide detectives were called to investigate.

The coroner’s office has not determined how the woman died.

UPDATE @ 7:40 p.m. (Sept. 15)

Homicide detectives are leading the investigation into the death of a woman whose body was found early this evening face down behind an abandoned house in Dayton.

“At this particular time it is undetermined the way this person passed away,” Dayton police Sgt. Creigee Coleman said.

The body found is that of a white woman who appears to be between 35 and 40. She has not been identified, but Coleman said the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office will be performing an autopsy.

The woman was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Dayton Fire Department, Coleman said. No drug paraphernalia was found near the woman, and there was no obvious trauma to her body.

>>>More police and crime news

A witness said it appeared a door was placed on top of the body but Coleman said he was not able to substantiate that report. Also, it’s not known whether the woman died where she was found in back of 17 E. Hudson Ave. or was placed there.

“We need the help of the public, we need the help of witnesses to come forward to determine how this lady passed away,” Coleman said. “It’s not fair for this lady to die in this manner and nobody to come forward.”

UPDATE @ 6:55 p.m.

Dayton police Sgt. Creigee Coleman said the body found was that of a female. It is still too early to tell how she died, he said.

UPDATE @ 6:30 p.m.

The body found next to a vacant house did not die recently, according to a Dayton police call log. 

The deceased person found in back next to the garage is covered, according to reports.

FIRST REPORT

Detectives are responding to a body found early this evening in Dayton.

The deceased person was found at 17 E. Hudson Ave., according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

The body was next to a garage behind DJ's Furniture, 2100 N. Main St.

The gender of the deceased person nor manner of death was immediately available.

We have a crew on the way and will update this report as we learn details.