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

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 6:47 PM

Geneva Rhoden poses with a poster at the Big Bear Lake Family Resort in Lucasville on Thursday, April 20, 2017. BROOKE LAVALLEY / THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Geneva Rhoden poses with a poster at the Big Bear Lake Family Resort in Lucasville on Thursday, April 20, 2017. BROOKE LAVALLEY / THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Geneva Rhoden spent a year waking up, losing sleep and shedding more tears than she cares to count.

“I would like to say from a mother’s heart, that I hurt so bad inside from the day that I found out,” Rhoden said about the methodical executions of her sons Christopher Sr. and Kenneth, her grandchildren and grandson’s fiancee.

“I think about it day and night.”

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» Pike County shooting victims: A closer look at the 8 who died
» ‘There will always be a scar on this town’

Rhoden and her daughter, Teresa Grebing, issued a gripping plea for answers Friday, a day before the anniversary of the Pike County murders of eight people.

News of the killings a year ago today caught the eye of the nation for a moment. But as the cameras, satellite trucks and reporters left, what remained was a family in pain and a $10,000 reward for the tip to end their nightmare.

RELATED: Pike County murders: 5 unanswered questions 1 year later

The video — announced moments before its release by Attorney General Mike DeWine on WHIO Radio’s Miami Valley Morning News — is a plea from the family for answers and more donations to the Crime Stoppers reward. For nearly 30 minutes, Rhoden and Grebing describe their loss in what DeWine called “gut-wrenching” detail.

“Please, please, please come forward,” Grebing says with increasing emotion, crackling the audio. Between sobs, she expresses comfort in knowing her lost family members would make the same plea for them had fate cast a different lot. She professes hope in knowing some day “the case will be cracked and we will have answers.”

“Please end this nightmare we’ve been living,” she says.

The Rhodens — Christopher Sr., 40, Christopher Jr., 16, Dana, 37, Gary, 38, Hanna, 19, Kenneth, 44, and 20-year-old Frankie — died April 22, 2016, with Frankie’s fiancee, Hannah Gilley, 20, in four homes across Pike County.

DeWine told WHIO’s Larry Hansgen it is “hard to tell” if would-be tipsters are withholding information more due to fear of prosecution or retaliation for speaking out. But he doesn’t “think there’s any doubt … there are people who know things they are simply not telling us.”

“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,” DeWine said. “Our focus is on eight human beings who have been killed.”

But still, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said the fear of becoming another victim exists.

“The fear of retaliation from whoever these killers are, that’s real,” he said.

Anyone with information on the murders is asked to call the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, 1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at 740-947-2111.

To make a donation to the reward fund, write a check to Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers. In the memo line, indicate the donation is for the Rhoden murders. Checks can be mailed to Deputy Dave Weber, c/o: Ross County Sheriff’s Office, 28 North Paint St., Chillicothe, Ohio 45601.

MORE ON PIKE COUNTY
» Timeline: The shocking events of the Pike County shooting
» Photos: Scenes from Pike County six months after a massacre
» DeWine on Pike Co. shootings: Someone involved ‘knew the territory’
» Ohio covers funeral costs for Pike County murder victims

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Report: Dye pack explodes on Oakwood LCNB robber 

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 6:00 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 8:40 PM

FROM SCENE: Robbery at LCNB, dye pack explodes on robber

UPDATE @ 8:40 p.m.

Police are seeking the public’s help to find the bank robber who held up LCNB.

The suspect entered Lebanon Citizens National Bank, 2705 Far Hills Ave., around 5:30 p.m., demanded money and left with an undisclosed amount of cash, Oakwood police Lt. Chuck Balaj said.

No weapon was seen, and the suspect left in a black Pontiac G6.

Anyone with information is urged to call Oakwood police at 937-298-2122 or Crime Stoppers at 937-222-STOP(7867).

FIRST REPORT

Police were called this evening to a report of a bank robbery at LCNB.

The alarm was sounded around 5:40 p.m. at Lebanon Citizens National Bank, 2705 Far Hills Ave., according to police scanner traffic. 

Oakwood police said the matter was under investigation and would not release any details.

>> Retired Centerville police chief focus of investigation

According to initial reports, a dye pack exploded on the suspect, described as a man in his 50s who stands between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 7 inches and was wearing a black ball cap and black sweater. He reportedly fled in a black Pontiac G6 south on Far Hills Avenue.

The suspect did not show a weapon but kept his hand inside his pocket, according to initial reports.

We have a crew on the way to the scene and will update this report.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Male, 17, arrested in death of Dayton mother shot in front of children

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:04 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 8:19 PM

Connected to Lorenz Avenue homicide

UPDATE @ 4:30 p.m. (Feb. 23): A 17-year-old male has been arrested and booked into the Montgomery County Juvenile Detention Center on a preliminary charge of murder in the Feb. 16 shooting of 22-year-old Keyona Murray, Dayton police said.

The teenager has a criminal history, according to investigators.

Court officials said he has been in trouble before on charges that include delinquency by reason of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, delinquency by reason of breaking and entering and delinquency by reason of burglary.  

Officials said he had recently completed probation.

RELATED: Coroner: Victim in Lorenz Ave. shooting dies, identified

Police said the teen was taken into custody today at a residence on Gard Avenue in Dayton.

A detention hearing is scheduled for Saturday morning.

INITIAL REPORT

A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in the shooting death of a woman shot in front of two children on Feb. 16.

Keyona Murray, shot and killed in an incident Feb. 16, 2018, at a home in the 100 block of Lorenz Avenue in Dayton. (Courtesy/Miami Valley Crime Stoppers)

Keyona Murray, 22, died at Miami Valley Hospital after medics took her from a home in the 100 block of Lorenz Avenue in Dayton where she had been shot in the head, according to police.

RELATED: Coroner: Victim in Lorenz Ave. shooting dies, identified

Murray was sitting in a bedroom with her 2-year-old child, 2-year-old nephew and another adult when someone fired numerous times into the house.

Miami Valley Crime Stoppers is offering the reward and said anyone providing tips can remain anonymous.

“We also know that in all likelihood, someone in the community knows who committed this heinous crime, so Miami Valley Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest or arrests of anyone involved,” the organization said in a prepared statement. 

“Keyona succumbed to her injuries later that night, leaving many to mourn her loss after this senseless act of violence.”

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Stabbing at Dayton apartment ends with man indicted

Published: Saturday, February 10, 2018 @ 2:45 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 11:30 PM

Police and a medic unit were dispatched on a report of a stabbing in the 300 block of South Main Street in Dayton just after 2 a.m.

UPDATE @ 11:30 p.m. (Feb. 23)

A 59-year-old Dayton man is pleading not guilty to stabbing a woman earlier this month at the Victorian Manor Apartments in Dayton.

Westley Johnson was arraigned Friday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on two counts of felonious assault in the Feb. 10 stabbing of a 55-year-old woman at the apartment in the 300 block of South Main Street.

Bond is $50,000 for Johnson, who has been held in the Montgomery County Jail since his Feb. 10 arrest. He next will appear March 8 in court, online jail and court records show.

INITIAL REPORT (Feb. 10)

Dayton police arrested the man they say was involved in a stabbing in the 300 block of South Main Street.

Westley Johnson, 59, was arrested on the scene and was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of felonious assault, records show.

Johnson was accused of stabbing a 55-year-old woman at the Victorian Manor Apartments, according to a Dayton police report.

We’re hearing the victim may have been stabbed in the neck. The victim has been taken to Miami Valley Hospital.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Gangs are terrorizing community, sheriff says

The incident was reported just after 2 a.m. 

We have a crew on scene. We will update this report as we get information. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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NEW DETAILS: Police allege Fairborn student named classmates he wanted to kill

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 1:44 PM

NEW DETAILS: Police allege Fairborn student named classmates he wanted to kill

One of the two students arrested Thursday at Fairborn Baker Junior High is accused of standing up in class and naming off people he wanted to kill, according to a police report obtained by this news organization.

The incident with the 12-year-old boy happened, police said, at the same time an 11-year-old girl was separately placed into custody on suspicion of spreading a message on Snapchat indicating “Fairborn schools next” in the “shoot SHS” threat that spread across the region and into other parts of the country Thursday.

Police documents show a third threat — a Snapchat video of a man holding a gun “for Baker Junior High in 7th period” — could not be traced and no subjects could be identified.

MORE: 1 of 2 Fairborn middle school students appears in court

MORE: Student arrested for making threats at Springfield H.S. charged with felony

The 12-year-old boy is charged with inducing panic and aggravated menacing, both misdemeanors. He has not yet appeared in court.

The 11-year-old girl is charged with misdemeanor inducing panic and making terroristic threats, a felony. A judge entered a plea of denial for her on Friday. She is ordered to stay in juvenile detention custody.

This news organization is not naming either individual at this time because they are not charged as adults.

MORE: 5 students arrested as threats rock southwest Ohio schools

The incidents Thursday set off an emotional and chaotic morning across Fairborn City Schools. While the “Fairborn schools next” Snapchat originated at the junior high, another student, who is not charged, allegedly forwarded the arrested student’s threatening message to students at the high school in an effort to warn her friends there, police said.

The high school then went on “level 2” lockdown at the request of the school’s principal, meaning all exterior doors were secured and all students were sheltered-in-place with doors locked, according to the police report. Police interviewed the uncharged female student, who identified the 11-year-old charged with originating the Fairborn-based threat.

MORE: Teachers with guns? Some Ohio districts arm staff but don’t tell public

According to the police report, the charged 11-year-old female “did not think it was a ‘big deal’” and “became upset and did not want to speak after she was placed in custody.”

The police report said the 12-year-old boy — accused of standing up in class and saying “I’m not saying I am the shooter, but I am not saying I’m not” before rattling off student names — “admitted to the allegations, and added that the people he named ‘frustrate’ him.”

At least five students — one from Springfield, one from Piqua, two from Fairborn and another from New Lebanon — were arrested Thursday, police said.

More local reporting from the Dayton Daily News:

» FAIRBORN:Free Wi-Fi coming to Fairborn: 5 things to know

» HUBER HEIGHTS: Retiring Huber Heights fire chaplain ‘honored’ to serve 18 years

» RIVERSIDE: Springfield Street near Air Force Museum faces $5.4M ‘road diet’ for safety

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