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CINCINNATI (AP) — A coroner’s report released Tuesday showed new details of vicious violence in the shooting deaths of eight members of a rural southern Ohio family, finding most victims were shot three to nine times each and some of them were bruised. Meanwhile, the hunt for whoever is responsible continued to expand, with more than 200 law enforcement officials involved.

A 911 caller on Friday said the bodies of two people found in one home looked to be beaten up. Attorney General Mike DeWine has called the slayings a carefully planned and “sophisticated operation” carried out against eight members of the Rhoden family by one or more killers.

The Hamilton County coroner said the victims — three women, four men and a 16-year-old boy — had wounds to their heads, torso and other parts of the body. Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said one victim had a single wound, one had two wounds, and the rest had three or more. The report didn’t specify which victim had which number of wounds.

Some victims showed “signs of soft tissue bruising,” her report stated. Sammarco’s office declined to discuss its findings, citing the ongoing investigation. Funeral arrangements for the victims hadn’t yet been announced.

Authorities haven’t suggested a motive or suspects. DeWine has said there were marijuana-growing operations found at three of the four places where bodies were found in Pike County, a rural Appalachian Mountain region roughly 80 miles east of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

DeWine said Tuesday that investigators have received more than 300 tips and are still serving search warrants. He said 79 pieces of evidence have been sent to a state crime lab for testing and analysis, including for DNA and fingerprints.

Ohio and Pike County authorities are leading the investigation, with help from some two dozen other agencies including other county sheriffs. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration are also offering assistance.

A woman who called 911 on Friday morning to report finding two of the bodies said that she saw “blood all over the house” and that the two looked like they had been badly beaten.

The victims are 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his ex-wife, 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; their three children, 16-year-old Christopher Rhoden Jr., 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden and 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden; Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; their cousin, 38-year-old Gary Rhoden, and 20-year-old Hannah Gilley, whose 6-month old son with Frankie was unharmed.

Two other children, Hanna Rhoden’s 4-day-old daughter and Frankie Rhoden’s 3-year-old son, also were unharmed.

Leonard Manley, father of Dana Rhoden, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that he first learned about the marijuana operations from news reports. Manley, 64, said he’s sure his daughter couldn’t have been involved in anything illegal.

“They are trying to drag my daughter through the mud, and I don’t appreciate that,” said Manley, whose three grandchildren — Dana’s children — were also among the dead.

Manley also found it suspicious that any assailants were able to get by his daughter’s two dogs.

“Whoever done it knows the family,” Manley said. “There were two dogs there that would eat you up.”

DeWine said Monday there was also possible evidence of cockfighting at one of the properties, but he didn’t know if it was relevant to the investigation.

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Associated Press writers Kantele Franko, Ann Sanner and Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus and Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

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8 thoughts on “Slain Ohio Family Beaten And Shot, Search Continues For Suspects

  1. specialt757 on said:

    I guess I’ll be waiting forever to see the mug shots blasted on every TV in every household of these pot growing criminals. After-all it was more than likely their criminal activities that got them killed. Can’t blame the cops this time.

  2. specialt757 on said:

    Dang! Obvious absent from this comment section are the ones (blacks) who love to point out when blacks commit crimes against other blacks, say their parents of f***d up individuals who raise f***d up kids. Now we have this horrific, almost merciless mafia style hit on an entire family (spared the children, but left them parent-less) from what we know was of WHITE folks probably done by other WHITE folks and what?…silence. How does that happen? Oh wait, y’all don’t care about the crimes committed by white folks only your hate and discontent against black folks. KMEA

  3. Ah, excuse me Peter Johson:

    Let me wake you up from your amnesia.

    Violence, criminal activity, hatred, racial discrimination; and not to mention drug activity started with white America; which is now totally out of control. There is such crime as “white-on-white” crime.

  4. kimboo on said:

    Someone pissed off the big boys, and that person or persons was someone close who those dogs thought to be friendly. Lesson to anyone: if your going to run a marijuana operation … don’t bring it home around your family. Whoever the big boys are just slaughtered an entire family, except for the babies (who could never identify or talk), which we are definitely thankful.

  5. Honestly on said:

    Cave n!@@er crawl back to your cave, with your sh!t for brains logic. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  6. I wonder if this is another racial hate crime with black perpetrators. In all these cases the media will hide the perps race because we already know the victims were all white!

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