Pike County, Ohio Rhoden Family Member Arrested in Drug Bust

Two men in Pike County, Ohio were arrested on drug charges on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, due to information uncovered during the ongoing, but unrelated, investigation into the April 22, 2016, shooting deaths of eight Rhoden family members. One of the two men arrested in a distant cousin of those who died in April.

The arrests of Josh Rhoden, 38 on a felony charge of drug trafficking and his neighbor, John McJunkin, 63, on a felony charge of possession of drugs in Peebles, Ohio was announced by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader on Friday, January 27.

Warrants served on the two men’s homes on Thursday netted $8,000 in cash, prescription drugs valued at $7,700, a small amount of marijuana and nine guns.

DeWine’s office released a statement explaining that although the arrests of Rhoden and McJunkin were made from information obtained in the ongoing murder investigation of the Rhoden family, Thursday’s arrests were unrelated to the murders.

While that may be the case, there has been little case-related information released to the public about the ongoing murder investigation. The potential exists that some detail(s) from the drug arrests and evidence seized may turn out to be tied to the eight murders, but law enforcement doesn’t want to show it’s hand prematurely.

What is known about the Rhoden family murders is that each of the eight victims was shot at least once and three of the families owned marijuana grow operations. Pike County Sheriff John Reader has said in the past that he believes there was more than one person involved in the murders and that those people were local to Pike County, a statement a bit more specific than one made in August 2016 by DeWine, who said it was likely the Rhodens knew their killers.

It is speculation only at this point – or perhaps wishful thinking – that the apprehension of those responsible for the slayings of eight family members may be at hand.

In November 2016, newly-elected Sheriff Reader voiced his frustration for the lack of information from county residents and family and friends of the eight slain individuals. There is an ongoing request for people to come forward with any information relating to the homicide investigation to call 1-855-BCI-OHIO or the Pike County, Ohio Sheriff’s office at 740-947-2111.

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