An entire Ohio family was found slain execution-style in their home on April 22, 2016. The investigation began that morning, when a family member, who came to care for the family’s animals, reported the discovery of two dead bodies in the Ohio home.
When authorities in Pike County, Ohio, responded to the report, they began checking other homes nearby and discovered five more bodies. In total, seven bodies were discovered in three homes on Union Hill Road. All the bodies are allegedly members of the Rhodes family. As authorities expanded their investigation, an additional body was discovered in a fourth home on Dry Fork Road – walking distance from the street where the other bodies were found.
Eight members of what is believed to be the Rhodes family were found to have been slain execution-style while they were sleeping. Seven of the victims were adults and a 16-year-old kid was also among those killed.
The slain families were still in their beds. One female victim, however, was found to have been killed while she slept with her four-day-old infant. The infant was spared. There were three other children who survived the execution of the family. The 4-day-old infant, as well as a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old, were all spared.
During a press conference the same afternoon, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released limited details regarding the slaying. He expressed that all of the victims were killed execution-style, but he did not release specific details. He added that Ohio authorities were unsure if the killer was among the victims. However, based on the current information, it did not seem any of those slain had committed suicide.
None of the bodies have been identified, nor has there been any indication of a motive associated with the slayings. Considering the horrendous nature of the execution-style murders, Ohio authorities have issued a warning to residents to be extra cautious.
Ohio authorities sent all available resources to begin their investigations at the four homes involved in the slayings. An aerial video of Union Hill Road showed nearly two-dozen police vehicles and three ambulances surrounding the homes involved.
The FBI has been closely monitoring the situation and have offered assistance to the Ohio Pike County Police. The entire area is on high alert, since the assailants are assumed to be at large.
The local high school and other facilities were on lockdown as an extra precaution, but that was lifted by late morning. More than 20 surviving members of the Rhodes family, who reside in Ohio, gathered at a local church to await more information. There have not been any more details provided about potential suspects or the victims.
The children, who were spared among the family members who were slain execution-style, were taken to local hospitals. No additional information on their condition has been released.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation and sent over a dozen investigators to assist Ohio authorities. Additional information is expected to be released as it is discovered.
By Gichele Cocrelle
Edited by Jeanette Smith
CNN: 3 Kids Survive slaying of 8 family members in Ohio
USA Today: 8 Ohio family members killed; gunman believe at large
Chicago Tribune: 8 relatives shot in Ohio as 3 children survive: killer thought to be on loose
Photo Courtesy of Tony Webster’s Wikimedia Page – Creative Commons License