By Patricia Beech
The last funeral for the Pike County family killed by unknown assailants more than two weeks ago was held last Tuesday, May 3 at the Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth. Christopher Rhoden, 40; his ex-wife Dana Rhoden, 37; their three children, Frankie, 21; Christopher Jr., 16; and Hanna, 19; and Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden were laid to rest at the Scioto Burial Park in McDermott, Ohio, with the Roger W. Davis Funeral Home officiating.
The previous day Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, Tony, stood vigil as several hundred people filed past the bodies of his family members. “We’re a good family,” he said, and I want people to know that we stand together.”
In the days since the execution-style killing of his family, Tony has become both a spokesman and a tower of strength for his grieving family members and friends. He said he wished he could be as strong as his 73 year-old mother who lost two sons and three grandchildren in the attack. “Our family is hurt, but we’re getting through it.”
Many of the mourners wore orange T-shirts to show support for the grieving family.
Before delivering a message for the family, David Dickerson, Victim Advocate for the Pike County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday’s funeral was the most emotional thing he’d ever experienced in his life. “The family members really lean on each other,” he said. “They’re a very loving and tight family, and they are beyond devastation.”
“It’s been a hard week, and the family wants to thank everyone for their continued thoughts and prayers,” said Dickerson, “They’re leaving today to lay their last six family members to rest and as they do this they’re asking anyone with any information that might help bring them resolution to please call 1-800-BCI-Ohio.”
The funeral for family cousin, Gary Rhoden, 38, was held April 28 at the Crockett L. Reed Funeral Home in South Shore, Ky. He was laid to rest at the Mound Cemetery in Piketon, next to his son who succumbed to cancer.
Funeral services for Hannah Gilley, 20, whose baby was one of three children who survived the massacre, were held at the Botkin Hornback Funeral Home in Otway on April 30. Burial was at the Hackworth Hill Cemetery in Otway.
Besides Gilley’s baby, Hanna Rhoden’s infant and another young child survived.
The investigation into the case continues, but authorities have made no arrests or confirmed any motive for the slayings.