Pike County murders: Authorities confiscate trailer during search related to massacre

Pike County murders: Authorities confiscate trailer during search related to massacre
A reward poster for information about the Rhoden murders hangs in a tree outside the home of Leonard Manley, whose daughter Dana Rhoden, 37 was one of the victims. Eight members of the Rhoden family were killed in rural Pike County in the early morning hours of April 22, 2016. One year later, the murder case remains unsolved. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

A trailer belonging to the family of a man involved in a custody dispute with a Pike County murders victim has been seized by authorities, our news partners at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati are reporting.

Investigators with several law enforcement agencies confiscated the trailer during their search of property on state Route 41 both Friday and Saturday as part of the investigation into the 2016 slayings.

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Bernie Brown, who owns the site, told WCPO-TV authorities searched two large trailers and took one smaller utility trailer owned by the Wagner family.

Brown said Jake Wagner sometimes works for him repairing vehicles and the Wagners had dropped items off at the property about a week earlier.

Saturday, Franklin County Sheriff's spokesman Marc Gofstein told reporters authorities had been searching for evidence in the 2016 killings of eight members of the Rhoden family.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader has said publicly he believes the killers are locals.

Jake Wagner was in a custody dispute with Hanna Rhoden, one of the victims, her grandfather Leonard Manley told WCPO-TV.

The girl who was the focus of the dispute was not at any of the locations where the massacre occurred, Manley said, though three young children were found alive.

WCPO-TV also reported that according to county property records, authorities on Friday searched a Peterson Road property owned by Jake and George Wagner as well as Brown’s property. Those same online records indicate the property was sold in March. Investigators combed the grounds with shovels and metal detectors.

Also on Saturday, authorities searched the Flying W Farm in Pike County.

Fredericka Wagner, Jake Wagner's grandmother who with her husband George owns the farm, according to county property records, declined Monday to speak with a reporter.

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