The Latest: Crime scenes worked, probe into 8 deaths ongoing

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Posted: Apr 23, 2016 9:11 PM
The Latest: Crime scenes worked, probe into 8 deaths ongoing

PIKETON, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the slayings of members of one southern Ohio family (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

A spokeswoman for Ohio's attorney general says investigators are continuing to look for the person or persons who targeted eight family members found slain in rural southern Ohio.

Seven adults and a teenage boy were found fatally shot Friday at four different properties near Piketon, about 60 miles south of Columbus.

Attorney General Mike DeWine's office said work at each of the crime scenes has been completed. DeWine spokeswoman, Lisa Hackley, said Saturday investigators are pursuing all leads, asking for tips and information and processing evidence.

She said, "It's a very active and ongoing investigation."

Investigators say none of the fatal injuries appeared self-inflicted. The victims' bodies are at the Hamilton County coroner's office, where autopsies are expected to take the weekend.

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5:40 p.m.

Authorities have identified the eight family members who were fatally shot in the head in rural southern Ohio.

Seven adults and a teenage boy were found dead Friday at four different properties.

Authorities on Saturday identified them as 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his 16-year-old son, Christopher Rhoden Jr.; 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; 38-year-old Gary Rhoden; 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; 20-year-old Clarence "Frankie" Rhoden; 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; and 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden.

The victims were found in homes near Piketon, about 60 miles south of Columbus.

Authorities say apparently some were killed as they slept, including Hanna Rhoden, who was in bed with her newborn nearby. Authorities say the infant was 4- or 5-days-old. The baby and two other small children were not harmed.

Investigators say none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted. No arrests have been made.

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3:15 p.m.

A woman who called 911 to report two of the eight slayings of an Ohio family says in a recoding that she found her brother-in-law dead and "blood all over the house."

Ohio's attorney general released audio of two calls on Saturday.

In one made Friday morning, the out-of-breath caller says another person in the house also appears dead, and it looks like someone had "beat the crap out of them."

Authorities have released few details about the case. They say investigators are still processing evidence from the four crimes scenes where the members of the Rhoden family were found in a rural Pike County. The victims include seven adults and a 16-year-old boy.

Another 911 caller reported finding his cousin with a gunshot wound.

No arrests have been made.

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2:15 p.m.

The Ohio Attorney General's office says a Cincinnati-area businessman has put up a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the slayings of eight family members.

Authorities say they worked through the night processing evidence from the four crimes scenes where the members of the Rhoden family were found in a rural Pike County.

But they have not identified any suspects and say that whoever killed them should be considered armed and dangerous. Investigators say none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted.

Authorities urged anyone with information about the crime to call 855-BCI-OHIO.

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1:15 p.m.

Relatives of eight family members shot dead at homes in rural southern Ohio are thanking authorities for their response and asking people to come forward with any information they might have about the killings.

Kimberly Newman, a member of the Ohio Crisis Response Team, delivered a statement from the family to reporters gathered Saturday down the road from some of the crime scenes.

Reading from the statement, Newman said the relatives would like to thank people for their prayers and support as authorities work to determine who targeted the clan on Friday and why.

The statement also requests that people be respectful of their family and their loss. The relatives urge those with information to call 855-BCI-OHIO.

Investigators say none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted. No arrests have been made.

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12:30 p.m.

Ohio's attorney general says investigators and law enforcement worked through the night to gather information and execute search warrants as officials seek to determine who shot eight family members in the head in rural southern Ohio.

In a written statement on Saturday, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said the investigation into the killings of the Rhoden family is still in its early stages. They said evidence continues to be processed and analyzed from the four properties near Piketon where the family members were found dead Friday.

Investigators say none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted, so they believe at least one assailant remained at large. No arrests have been made.

DeWine said he updated Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) on the investigation on Saturday morning.

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11:35 a.m.

A pastor says relatives and friends of eight family members found slain in rural southern Ohio are "not doing well at all" as law enforcement scrambles to determine who targeted the clan and why.

Union Hill Church is up the road from some of the four properties near Piketon where members of the Rhoden family were found dead Friday.

Pastor Phil Fulton describes the family as close-knit and hardworking.

He says they were previously part of his congregation, though not recently.

Fulton says his church has been a haven for more than 100 grieving family members and friends and will remain open to them as needed.

Investigators say none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted, so they believed at least one assailant remained at large. No arrests have been made.

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1:22 a.m.

Authorities in rural southern Ohio are urging residents to be cautious as the search continues for whoever fatally shot eight members of a family at four different properties.

The victims found Friday include seven adults and a 16-year-old boy. They were found in homes near Piketon, about 60 miles south of Columbus.

Authorities say all were shot in the head and that 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 harmed.

Authorities say the victims are members of one family. Investigators say none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted, so they believe at least one assailant is at large.

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