Eight members of the same Pike County family are dead after being shot execution style while they slept, and the shooter could still be at large. “I am still actively looking for a shooter,” Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said at an afternoon press conference with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “I cannot confirm that there is no one on the loose who is not involved with this. If he is, he’s armed and dangerous.” The bodies of seven adults and a 16 year old boy were discovered at four separate locations on Saturday morning, April 22. All are believed to be members of the Rhoden family. A mother was among the dead with her four day old baby found alive next to her. “It would appear all of them were shot in the head,” DeWine said. “It would appear it occurred at night. The mother was killed in bed with the 4-day-old right there.” Dewine said it did not appear that any of the victims had committed suicide. A six month old baby and a three year old child were also found alive. The crime scenes are within eight miles of each other on Union Hill Road near the Adams County border in Pike County.
DeWine did not name a suspect or release a motive for the shooting, but said the Rhoden family should be watchful. “We’re advising family members to be very careful and take particular caution,” DeWine said. “This is a matter of public safety, especially for the Rhoden family.” Two of the crime scenes were said to be within walking distance of each other, with a third about a half mile away and the fourth scene about eight miles away.
As a precaution, all three schools in the Adams County/ Ohio Valley School District were placed in lockdown mode for a short time on Friday. Schools in Pike County were also placed in lockdown mode.