Sheriff Issues Warning in Rhoden Family Murder Investigation

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, newly elected to his position after appointment to the office in May 2015, recently released a statement expressing his frustration with the lack of cooperation from those who have information related to the Rhoden murder investigation but have not been forthcoming.

Investigating authorities have been keeping information about their investigation into the April 22, 2016, murders of eight Rhoden family members to a bare minimum in the seven months since the massacre. On Nov. 14, 2016, Reader broke that silence with a written statement to Hillary Lake of WCPO when asked for an update on the case:

“I will say that I have met with the attorney general, his staff, my staff assigned to the investigation, and the family in the past weeks. I feel strongly that the case is going in the right direction. I would like to urge anyone withholding any information to come forward. I have made it clear that anyone who has lied to investigators or has purposefully mislead them in any manner in this case will be arrested and charged accordingly. The search for killers is my top priority. We are not investigating any one for criminal activity that they feel may incriminate themselves on in speaking with them to solve 8 murders. Come forward, be truthful, or we will be coming to arrest and charge anyone that are obstructing any officials investigating this horrific crime.”

A few moments later, Reader added this more pointed statement:

“Including family, friends and neighbors of the victims, if necessary. This case will be solved, we are working for the 8 victims of murder. Anyone that has or attempts, to delay, hamper, or mislead authorities in any fashion will be charged and arrested. Period.”

Rhoden Family Killers Local to Pike County According to Sheriff Reader

The pieces of the case may be coming together a little bit at a time, at least in the public eye. In an interview with Lake on Oct. 17, 2016, Sheriff Reader divulged that in his opinion, the killers of the eight Rhoden family members are not members of a Mexican drug cartel, as some originally surmised when it was learned that marijuana grow operations were found at all of the Rhoden homes except that of Dana Rhoden, nor even anyone from outside the country, but rather people local to rural Pike County.

Reader acknowledged that some of those killed were selling marijuana.

Reader’s theory that the assailants were local to Pike County, Ohio is a furtherance of a theory explained two months earlier by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine revealed that the Rhoden family like knew their killers. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation continues to work with Sheriff Reader’s office, along with other law enforcement agencies to bring to justice those involved in the shooting deaths of seven adults and one teenager on the night of April 22.

The victims in the mass shooting deaths of the Rhoden family were: Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; his former wife, Dana Rhoden, 37; their three children, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, Hanna Rhoden, 19 and Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; Frankie Rhoden’s fiancee, Hannah Gilley, 20; Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44; and a cousin, Gary Rhoden, 38.


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