An intense manhunt is underway in rural Ohio for the suspect or suspects who killed 8 members of the Rhoden family in Pike County early Friday.
Federal agents joined law enforcement agencies from surrounding counties in the hunt for the killers who shot 6 adults and 2 teenagers as they slept. Three babies survived the massacre unharmed.
Pot growing operations were found among the homes and trailers at 3 of the crime scenes. Police did not confirm reports that meth labs were also found on the 3 properties.
All of the bodies were found at 4 crime scenes.
The first 911 call came in at 7:49 a.m. Friday, April 22. "I think my brother-in-law is dead," a hysterical woman told a 911 dispatcher in between sobs.
The woman discovered the bodies of two of her family members, Christopher Rhoden, Jr., 16, and Gary Rhoden 38. Both were shot in their heads execution style, according to the NY Daily News.
"There's blood all over the house. My brother-in-law is in the bedroom and it looks like someone has beat the hell out of him," she told the dispatcher. "I think they are both dead."
The second 911 call came in at 1:29 p.m. while investigators were still at the first crime scene.
The caller was a male relative who discovered the body of 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden.
"It's all that stuff that's on the news. I just found my cousin with a gunshot wound," the caller said. When asked if the victim was alive, the caller responded, "No, no."
The rest of the victims were found when neighbors urged police to check other homes owned by the family. Three of the crime scenes were within a mile of each other on the same road in rural Piketon, Ohio, about 75 miles southeast of Cincinnati. The last victim, Chris Rhoden, Sr., was found in his home about 30 miles away.
The other victims were identified as Hannah Gilley, 20, her fiancé Clarence (Frankie) Rhoden, 20, Christopher Rhoden, Sr., 40, new mom Hanna Rhoden, 19, and Dana Rhoden, a grandmother at 37.
Hanna Rhoden died holding her 4-day-old newborn baby girl in her arms.
Hannah Gilley's 6-month-old daughter and a 3-year-old boy were found safe in the home where Gilley and her fiancé Frankie died. The 3 children are in the care of the state.
Frankie and Chris Jr. were brothers. Their parents Dana and Chris Sr. were divorced. Police don't believe the killer is among the dead.
Distraught family members and friends of the Rhodens gathered at a nearby church to grieve and console each other.
A family member, Donna Musser, took to Facebook to vent her anger at the murderer or murderers.
“I really hope the pos that walked into my families' homes and killed them while Hannah held her newborn and the other babies were sleeping, I hope you truly get what you deserve hell isn’t good enough for you,” Musser wrote.
She added: “Reality sets in so much when you look at these three precious babies and know they won’t grow up knowing their mom’s and dad’s, grandma and grandpa and their aunt’s and uncle’s."
Separate Gofundme pages have been set up to raise money for the funerals.