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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: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 8:26 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 10:32 AM
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A deputy U.S. marshal was killed and a police officer was injured Thursday morning when authorities said they were shot while serving a search warrant, according to multiple reports.
PennLive.com reported that a deputy U.S. marshal was killed in the shooting, which happened around 6:30 a.m. in Harrisburg.
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 9:55 AM
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor will inaugurate the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court’s mental health docket today.
The specialty docket will be the fourth such individualized effort, joining the county’s drug treatment, veterans’ and women’s treatment court.
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:12 AM
PERRIS, Calif. — Neighbors described the reportedly nightmarish situation at the Turpin home, where parents David and Louise allegedly kept their 13 children shackled to their beds and malnourished, as seeming like a “cult.”
A man named Mike, who did not want to give his full name and was a neighbor of the Turpins when they lived in Murrieta, California, told the Post, “I thought they were like a cult. They would march back and forth on the second story at night. The light would be on the whole time, and they would be marching the kids back and forth.”
Mike said he would arrive home late from his job at a hospital and see the children marching through the upstairs rooms of the Turpin home between midnight and 3 a.m.
David and Louis Turpin were arrested Sunday in their Perris, California, home after one of their daughters called police for help, saying she had managed to escape the house with a cellphone. When police arrived, they reportedly found the siblings, ages 2 to 29, living in squalor and looking very thin, with several of the kids shackled to furniture.
Mike said his wife, Myrna, called the family “clones,” saying the Turpins all spoke “robotically, in a monotone and at the same” time during the few occasions on which Myrna interacted with them at a local grocer.
However, Mike told the Post that he and Myrna never called the police because they didn’t see anything that suggested they needed to. They just thought the parents were a bit odd.
Mike, as well former neighbors from when the Turpins owned a farm in Rio Vista, Texas — which the family left due to foreclosure — remarked on the amount of trash that the family accumulated.
“I ended up calling the police because of the trash and everything that was left there,” said former Texas neighbor Randy McClain. “There was a brand new pickup truck covered in [trash] — a whole truck bed full and overflowing to the ground with trash: diapers, Spam cans, potted meat cans, just overflowing.”
The Daily Mail got access to the Turpin’s Perris backyard and found a Disney-themed fountain situated in a messy yard in which “piles of metal pipes could be seen strewn around, along with a rusty set of metal garden furniture and some diaper boxes.”
Through the screen door, the Daily Mail spied piles of clutter, including what appear to be stacked books, within the house.
Neighbor Leticia Gomez, 45, who lives directly behind the Turpin home, told the Daily Mail that she wasn’t aware there were any kids in the house. She described the Turpins’ garden as unkempt and “scruffy.”
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:36 AM
TROTWOOD — Police are investigating after they were called to reports of a person down in Trotwood early Thursday.
Officers were dispatched to the area of Free Pike and Hermosa Drive around 2 a.m.
As of 4 a.m., police remain on scene.