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New information about property searched in Rhoden murder probe

Questions remain after Pike County massacre investigators search properties (WKRC)

PIKETON, Ohio (WKRC) - Questions surround the search three properties over the weekend in the Rhoden murder investigation - two of which were tied to the family of one of the victim's exes.


Jake Wagner and his brother recently sold a farm they owned on Peterson Road in Adams County. Wagner and Hanna Rhoden had a daughter named Sophie. Two to three weeks before the murders, Jake and his father tried to get Hanna to sign away her parental rights to Sophie, according to Leonard Manley, Hanna's grandfather.

Agents with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, and the Adams and Pike Co. Sheriff's Offices searched the farm on Friday afternoon. They also searched an auto business on Ohio 41 near Peebles that had a couple of horse trailers on it.

8 members of the Rhoden and Gilley families were shot as they slept in four trailers in April 2016. The children in the homes were spared. Rhoden family relatives have said they think he family was targeted by someone who knew them.


"It's all over Facebook all of the time," said Michelle Ross, who knew Dana Rhoden. "She was a hard worker and a real good mom. She deserves justice. The whole family does."

Then on Saturday afternoon, investigators searched Flying W Farm, a large property owned by relatives of Jake Wagner. Monday afternoon, employees of the farm asked Local 12 to leave when approached about talking with the Wagners.

It's not clear whether a tip led investigators to the properties or how the Wagners are connected to the investigation. Investigators refused to answer questions about the searches or whether anything was found.

"The Rhoden case remains very active this is a very active investigation it's been active since the day it occurred," said Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The Wagners have not returned several messages seeking comment. Jake Wagner's Facebook page claimed he was on vacation in Alaska and Canada Monday morning but by early evening the photos had been removed. Pike Co. Sheriff Charles Reader did not return a phone call Monday and could not be reached at the sheriff's office.

Anyone with information about the case can call 1-800-BCI-OHIO. There is a $10,000 reward being offered for information that leads to an arrest.



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