Family of four arrested in 2016 Rhoden family slaying in Ohio

The victims were identified as 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden his ex-wife 37-year-old Dana Rhoden their three children 20-year-old Clarence

The four Wagners "clearly have been the prime suspects for some time", said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Four members of a family were arrested Tuesday in the 2016 killings of seven adults and a 16-year-old boy in Pike County, Ohio, state officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

Those arrested Tuesday were George "Billy" Wagner III, 47; his wife, Angela Wagner, 48; and their sons George Wagner IV, 27, and Edward "Jake" Wagner, 26. No court dates have been set and no bonds have been set, although with death penalty specifications, bail can be denied on the four suspects with those charges, according to Junk.

DeWine and Reader said Tuesday that the Wagners studied the layouts of the victims' properties, as well as their habits, routines, sleeping locations and pets. The Last evidence was examined October 30. "The people who did it are in custody".

The Wagners' attorney maintained the family's innocence Tuesday in a statement. The killings terrified OH residents and spawned rumors that it was a drug hit, but prosecutors suggested Tuesday the attack had stemmed from a custody dispute. Clark said a year ago that four of the Wagner family members had provided laptops, phones and DNA samples to investigators, and agreed to be interviewed about the slayings. Some of the victims had shown soft tissue bruising, indicating that they fought their killer or killers, according to the medical examiner's report. "They were shot in their own homes".

DeWine lamented the ways in which the eight victims were "brutally and viciously" executed. "It is our belief that the suspects used this knowledge to meticulously plan these horrendous, cold-blooded murders".

"We have absolutely no evidence that anyone else was involved".

"There certainly was obsession with custody, obsession with control of children", DeWine said.

Dewine said the case involved an "obsession with the custody and control of children" and called it one of the most weird situations he has seen.

A copy of the indictments filed against Billy, Angela, George, and Jake Wagner can be found on the Ohio Attorney General's website.

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Brad Conklin told Channel 2 in June of 2017 that he'd seen the Wagners the day before and told them to be aware of bears in the area.

The eight Rhoden family members were shot to death in four homes near Piketon, in southern Ohio.

The shooters spared three young children: A newborn baby found lying next to her dead mother, as well as two others who were six months and three years old.

Investigators scrambling to determine who targeted the Rhoden family had conducted over 130 interviews and processed over 100 pieces of evidence. Junk said the case could take two years to prosecute.

Anyone with additional information related to the murders should call BCI at 1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or the Pike County Sheriff's Office at 740-947-2111. He was on the job less than a year when the shootings occurred.

"They did this quickly, coldly, calmly, and very carefully".

Reader, Junk and DeWine all agree this is one of the biggest cases OH has ever seen. Pike County, Ohio authorities say investigators were following him when the arrest was made. DeWine acknowledged that "Pike County is a small county and we clearly have to do something in OH to make sure these counties have the ability to carry out justice".

The Wagners had since moved to Alaska. Two more people were charged with covering up the crimes. Wenstrup says via email he's optimistic that "justice can be served".

He also made a point of reminding people the Rhoden, Gilley and Manley families are victims who will have to relive their horrors as the trials unfold.

No motive has been given for the murders. "We're a place that finds justice for victims, and today is a big step on that path". We were working an eight person homicide, not a marijuana grow room. She said that her husband, Billy, and Christopher Rhoden Sr., one of the victims, had been more like brothers than friends. "Never have we lost so many people to a murderer or murderers in this county".

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