Rhoden Family murder suspects arrested

This undated images released by the Ohio Attorney General's office shows George

This undated images released by the Ohio Attorney General's office shows George"Billy Wagner III one of four family members that has been arrested in the slayings of eight members of one family in rural Ohio two years ago authorities announced Tuesda

"Never have we lost so many people to a murderer or murderers in this county". "Thank God!" Verlina Jarrell, of Circleville, Ohio, co-administrator of a Facebook page about the "Pike County massacres" with some 650 members, told The Associated Press. Over two years later, six arrests have been made in connection with those murders.

Prosecuting an OH family of four arrested in the gruesome slayings of eight people from another family could take years to conclude, a county prosecutor said as the first break in the more than two-year-old case was announced.

The four suspects arrested were identified as: George "Billy" Wagner III, Angela Wagner and sons George Wagner IV and Edward "Jake" Wagner.

Authorities previously sought information on the four Wagners back in June 2017, and believed them to be in Alaska. (Supplied) Rita Newcomb and Fredericka Wagner are also facing charges of obstructing the course of justice in relation to the case.

Mr DeWine suggested the bigger motive was child custody.

"There certainly was obsession with custody, obsession with control of children", said DeWine, adding, "This is just the most weird story I've ever seen in being involved in law enforcement". Marijuana grow operations are not uncommon in that part of the state, however, authorities said.

Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, his ex-wife Dana Manley Rhoden, 37, and their three children, Hanna May Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, and Clarence "Frankie" Rhoden, 20, her fiancée, Hannah "Hazel" Gilley, 20, were all shot to death along with the elder Christopher Rhoden's brother Kenneth Rhoden, 44, and cousin Gary Rhoden, 38.

It's the culmination of a massive investigative effort since seven adults and a teenage boy were found shot in the head at four homes in April 2016.

DeWine said Tuesday "there's an undercurrent of drugs" in the case, but there's no evidence the killings were drug-related.

Two babies and a young child were left unharmed. The children were placed under the care of Child Protective Services.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said in an earlier press conference that the investigation is the largest ever in the county. He said the murders were "pre-planned executions".

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"It certainly has been the worst tragedy", DeWine told the Daily Times in 2016. Additional details were to be announced at a news conference later Tuesday.

Almost two dozen law enforcement agencies from 10 different states and Canada also assisted with the investigation.

There was a sophisticated plan to murder the victims and cover their tracks, but not sophisticated enough, according to DeWine.

He added: "I just might tell you this is just the most weird story I've ever seen in being involved in law enforcement". "It's just fantastic." Officials repeatedly stated they could not give details because of the ongoing prosecution. "They had thought about it, a lot" he said.

Newcomb was arrested at her home in Scioto County. He was being held at Lexington Fayette County Jail.

Wagner also told The Enquirer that her husband, Billy, and Christopher Rhoden Sr. were more like brothers than friends. The cases will be prosecuted by the Pike County Prosecutor's Office and the Ohio Attorney General's Special Prosecutions Section acting as special assistant prosecutors.

"We have absolutely no evidence that anyone else was involved". He waived off media questions regarding details on that last bit of evidence. If convicted, they could get the death penalty. "An indictment is only the beginning of the case", Junk said Tuesday, adding that the case may have to be moved from Pike County because of the pre-trial publicity.

Clark says in a statement the family is waiting for the day "when the true culprits will be discovered and brought to justice for this bad tragedy". Officials have not said the exact location where the other suspects were arrested.

Authorities arrested the suspects this afternoon, without incident. No court dates have not been set as of yet.

Each of the suspects faces eight counts of aggravated murder.

"They were brutally and viciously executed", said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is also the Governor-elect of Ohio.

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