The Latest: Hundreds of pot plants found at killing scenes

AP News
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Posted: Apr 25, 2016 4:29 PM
The Latest: Hundreds of pot plants found at killing scenes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the killing of eight members of a family in southern Ohio (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

An Ohio prosecutor says investigators found what appeared to be several hundred marijuana plants at some of the homes where eight relatives were found shot to death last week.

Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk tells the Columbus Dispatch some of the plants were found indoors. But he adds: "It wasn't just somebody sitting pots in the window."

Authorities are trying to determine who killed the eight family members at four homes in rural southern Ohio on Friday. They have refused to discuss many details of the crime.

They also haven't said whether the marijuana might have had anything to do with the deaths.

Attorney General Mike DeWine has described the killings near the small community of Piketon as "a sophisticated operation." Seven adults and one teenage boy were found shot in the head; three young children were not harmed.

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3 p.m.

More than a dozen counselors, clergy and school psychologists are on hand to help at a southern Ohio school district, where one of eight people fatally shot was a high school freshman.

Scioto Valley Local School District Superintendent Todd Burkitt said Monday that 16-year-old Christopher Rhoden Jr. was a student at Piketon High School. He says the teen's siblings — 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden and 20-year-old Clarence "Frankie" Rhoden — also were once students there.

The three along with five other Rhoden family members were found fatally shot Friday at four different properties near Piketon, about 60 miles south of Columbus.

Burkitt describes Christopher Rhoden Jr. as someone who was loyal to his friends and family.

On Monday, the state's attorney general said all eight autopsies have been completed.

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2:25 p.m.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office says the last autopsy of eight slain family members is being completed.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Mike DeWine says the autopsy is being done Monday on the victim from Pike County in southern Ohio.

Authorities are scrambling to determine who killed the eight last week in slayings that have shaken residents of their rural southern Ohio community.

Investigators say they found marijuana operations at three of the crime scenes but didn't say if the deaths were linked to pot.

Marijuana seizures are common in Pike County, where authorities said a 2012 seizure could be connected to a Mexican drug cartel.

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1 a.m.

Authorities are scrambling to determine who killed eight family members in a "pre-planned execution" that has shaken residents of their rural southern Ohio community.

Attorney General Mike DeWine Sunday described the killings at four homes near the small community of Piketon Friday as "a sophisticated operation." Seven adults and one teenage boy were found shot in the head; three young children were not harmed.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader says it's clear the family was targeted, and he's told the victims' relatives to arm themselves.

Authorities have refused to discuss many details of the crime, a potential motive, weapons, or the search for the assailant or assailants. They say they found marijuana operations at three of the crime scenes, but didn't say if the deaths were linked to pot.