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Published: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 3:02 PM
Updated: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 4:08 PM
— 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.
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.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 7:17 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 11:40 PM
HARRISON TWP. — An armed suspect demanded drugs and threatened employees Friday night during a robbery at a Rite Aid pharmacy.
The robbery was reported around 7 p.m. at the business, 4328 N. Main St. in Harrison Twp.
“Somebody walked in with a note and asked for prescription drugs and said that he was going to kills us in that note if we didn’t give him what we have,” according to a 911 caller who identified himself as a pharmacy manager.
The suspect was described as a young man who stands 5 feet 7 or five feet 8 inches who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.
Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies, including a K-9 unit, were dispatched to the robbery. However, deputies on scene did not comment on the investigation.
Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:08 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:45 PM
CONCORD TWP., Miami County — UPDATE @ 10:45 p.m. (June 22): A retired Troy firefighter accused of rape posted bond and was released from the Miami County Jail.
Jeffrey Paul Covault’s bond was $200,000 cash for the single rape count, which was set during his arraignment this morning.
Covault’s co-defendant Thomas Perkins Jr., 54 — also charged with rape — and his son, 24-year-old Aaron Jacob Covault, charged on an unrelated weapons violation, remain in jail.
UPDATE @ 10:20 a.m. (June 22): A retired Troy firefighter and a co-defendant remain in jail on a rape charge, while the son of the former firefighter also remains in jail on a weapons charge.
Jeffrey Paul Covault, 48, had his bond set at $200,000 cash on a single count of rape. His plea of not guilty was taken this morning.
Thomas Perkins Jr., 54, identified as a co-defendant in the rape case, had his bond set at $200,000 as well. According to authorities, Perkins worked for Covault’s lawn care business.
Aaron Jacob Covault, 24, had his bond set at $22,000 cash during his court appearance via video in Miami County Municipal Court.
He is detained in the Miami County Jail on charges of weapon possession as a felon (a felony) and weapons possession while intoxicated (a misdemeanor).
The elder Covault and Perkins are accused of engaging in sexual conduct with an intoxicated 21-year-old woman on March 2, in the parking lot of The Vault, on North County Road 25A, county Prosecutor Tony Kendell said. According to the indictment, the victim was impaired because of a mental or physical condition and the alleged perpetrators had cause of know of that impairment.
Common Pleas Judge Christopher Gee issued a “no contact order” for the elder Covault and Perkins, meaning they are to have no contact with the alleged victim or with each other.
The elder Covault worked as a Troy firefighter/paramedic from May 1996 until he retired April 1, according to city personnel records.
A criminal records check shows he has been convicted for operating a vehicle under the influence in 2011 and for disorderly conduct in 2012.
The father and son were arrested hours apart Thursday from the same home, a residence in the 700 block of County Road 25A, north of Troy.
Aaron Jacob Covault, was arrested at the same address hours after his father was taken into custody. Police said the younger Covault was upset over the arrest of his father and discharged a gun.
There were no reports of injuries.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:13 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 3:16 AM
— UPDATE June 23 @ 3:16 a.m.:
Dayton police made four arrests during an OVI checkpoint and a saturation patrol Friday night.
In a release, police said 167 vehicles passed through the checkpoint from E. Third St. and Terry St., and N. Keowee and E. Fifth St. between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. One OVI arrest was made.
Dayton police also conducted a saturation patrol in the area making one OVI arrest, one drug arrest and one felony arrest.
According to the release, 284 vehicles passed through the checkpoint at S. Keowee St. and E. Fifth St. At this location, police made no arrests during the OVI or saturation patrol.
FIRST REPORT June 22 @ 10:21 a.m.:
A sobriety checkpoint will be set up tonight between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. at two locations in Dayton.
The first will be around East Third and Terry streets, near Taqueria Mixteca restaurant. After that, the checkpoint will move to South Keowee Street near East Fifth Street in the Oregon District.
The checkpoint will be operated by the Dayton Police Department, along with members of the Combined Agency OVI Task Force of Montgomery County.
Ohio law requires police agencies to publicly announce the times and locations of checkpoints ahead of time.
The OVI Task Force seeks to reduce the number of crashes involving drunken and intoxicated drivers.
“Driving while impaired is illegal and endangers the lives of everyone on the roadway,” police said.
In 2017, there were 594 crashes involving alcohol in Montgomery County.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 8:21 PM
Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 2:14 AM
CINCINNATI — UPDATE June 23 @ 2:14 a.m.:
The Cincinnati Police Department has canceled the endangered missing adult alert for 67-year-old Cecil Harry.
FIRST REPORT June 22 @ 8:21 p.m.:
A 67-year-old Cincinnati man is the subject of an endangered missing adult alert.
Cecil Harry left his residence around 7:30 a.m. and failed to return. He is in need of medication and law enforcement is concerned for his safety, according to the alert.
Harry stands 6 feet, weighs 210 pounds and has gray hair and blue eyes.
He drives a red 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser with Ohio plates EF74BA.
Anyone who knows Harry’s whereabouts or who spots him is urged to call 911 or 1-866-693-9171.