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Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 5:43 AM
PIKE COUNTY — One year after eight members of the Rhoden family were murdered in their beds as they slept, the Ohio Attorney General and local law enforcement officers continue to search for answers.
Pike County residents wonder if the killers will be caught.
"Yes I do think it is going to be a lot harder to find them,” said Annie Wilburn, a Piketon resident. “I really don't know if they're going to find them at all."
Stephanie Stanley, a reporter with The Pike County News Watchman newspaper, has tracked this case from the beginning and says it's been tough to deal with.
"People were slain in their beds with babies beside them,” Stanley said. “And it was crushing."
The key to this case may lie with what investigators found here when they responded after the murders – two commercial-sized marijuana grow operations.
Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine says some people in Piketon are reluctant to talk out of fear of retaliation. Others may be purposely withholding information.
"It's going to be better for them if they come forward if they do it on their own accord than if we have to drag them in,” DeWine said.
The Rhodens lived at multiple locations along Union Hill Road in Pike County.
DeWine says given the remoteness of the Rhoden family homes, the killers must have known the area well.
During a news conference in April, DeWine and the county sheriff unveiled a poster of the victims and information about a $10,000 reward for information.
Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said he has a message for the killers:
"You came in like thieves in the night and took eight lives...some being children,” Reader said. “The most horrific way I have seen in my 20 plus years. We are getting closer. We will find you. The family and the victims will have justice one day."
Law enforcement officers have conducted nearly 500 interviews and received almost 900 tips making this the biggest case the Bureau of Investigation has ever handled, according to the attorney general.
A reporter the local newspaper told us there have been many theories about who could have done it. Everything from Mexican drug cartels to rival factions within the victim's family.
"People keep swinging back to was it someone within the family?” Stanley said. “We hear that quite a bit.”
Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 5:18 PM
BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek police took to social media to help identify two theft suspects who make off with more than $4,000 in merchandise from an AT&T store.
The two men entered the store at approximately 6:15 p.m. March 21 and stole iPhones and notepads, according to a Facebook post.
Both suspects are described as men in their early 20s wearing black hooded sweatshirts. One was wearing black jeans as well, and the second man had a hoodie with the letters “LB” on the back who also was wearing red Jordan shoes and khakis, police said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact detective John Bondy at 937-427-5520.
Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 6:23 PM
CENTERVILLE — More than 100 faith leaders gathered Saturday at the Normandy United Methodist Church for a safety and security seminar.
The Ohio Crime Prevention Association led the program focusing on the proactive steps houses of worship can take for their protection.
“It’s kind of an all hazards program, to give them a view of things we can consider, what can we improve upon. Then we give them the knowledge and resources for these plans to be better secure and make it safer,” said John Davis, a Centerville police officer who also serves as vice president of the Ohio Crime Prevention Association.
The seminar focused on all kinds of crimes, from an active-shooter situation to burglaries and break-ins.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:53 PM
JEFFERSON TWP. — Deputies are searching for a suspect who stabbed a man Friday night as he was was walking on Maeder Avenue.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched around 9:35 p.m. to the 20 block of Maeder Avenue, just off West Third Street.
The victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital. The stab wound is not life-threatening, deputies said.
The incident remains under investigation.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:12 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 12:10 AM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 12:10 a.m. (March 24)
Flames consumed a vacant house Friday night on Lorain Avenue.
The two-story house had not been lived in for some time, and the source of the fire is under investigation because the dwelling had no utilities connected, Dayton fire officials said.
No injuries were reported, and no arrests have been made.
Crews were called late Friday night to a fire at a vacant house.
Flames were shooting from the two-story house when crews were called around 11 p.m. to 917 Lorain Ave.
We are on the way and will update this report as we learn details.
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