Search Continues For Gunman In Ohio Execution-Style Murders


Saturday, April 23rd 2016, 1:13 pm
By: News On 6


Authorities urged residents to be cautious in this part of rural southern Ohio as the search continued Saturday for whoever fatally shot eight members of a family at four different properties.

Investigators interviewed more than 30 people hoping to find leads in the deaths of the seven adults and 16-year-old boy whose bodies were found in homes southwest of Piketon Friday.

CBS Columbus affiliate WBNS-TV obtained cell phone video showing a man being taken into police custody at gunpoint Friday. The man was not arrested and isn't being called a person of interest in the case, CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reports.

All victims were shot in the head, authorities said, and it appeared some were killed as they slept, including a mother in bed with her 4-day-old baby nearby. The infant and two other small children were not hurt.

Authorities didn't release the victims' names but said they're members of the Rhoden family. Investigators said none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted, so they believe at least one assailant is at large.

"We do not know whether we're talking about one individual or two or three or more," Attorney General Mike DeWine said.

Law enforcement officials say whoever is responsible for the killings should be considered armed and dangerous.

A motive for the slayings isn't known, authorities said, but they urged surviving members of the Rhoden family to take precautions. Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader also recommended area residents be extra wary.

"This really is a question of public safety, and particularly for any of the Rhoden family," DeWine said.

Reader said Friday night that authorities had met with more than 100 relatives and friends of the Rhoden family at a church.

DeWine dismissed a report that the people authorities questioned included a person of interest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.