Dewine Announces Murder Charges in Pike County

Pike County Murder Press Conference

(Cleveland) - Ohio Attorney General and Governor Elect Mike Dewine held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to formally announce murder charges against four members of the Wagner family, all former residents of Pike County. The four, husband and wife, along with two adult children, are each charged with eight counts of aggravated murder in the the execution-style killings of eight members of the Rhoden family in 2016. The suspects left Ohio almost immediately after the murders and were recently tracked down and arrested while living in Alaska.

Dewine could not go into specifics, as the cases have not yet been tried in court, but did say a custody dispute contributed heavily to the motive in the killings. Dewine says the suspects planned the murders for months and to the finest detail. He says they even tampered with the victim's cell phones and the home's surveillance footage after the murders. Two additional members of the extended Wagner family are also being charged with obstruction and tampering with the investigation after the fact.

Dewine says the investigation was the longest and most labor intensive criminal investigation in Ohio's history, consuming two and one half years and 'tens of thousands of man hours.'

Photo: Courtesy of Jarod Allen

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