Officials: Cockfighting clues found on Ohio property of slain family

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Ohio Family Shooting Investigation Continues

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Investigators probing the mysterious execution-style killings of eight family members in rural Ohio last week have found evidence of illegal cockfighting and marijuana cultivation on their property, state officials said on Tuesday.

Cockfighting chickens, cages and signs of a breeding operation have been discovered on the land in Appalachian-Pike County, about 95 miles east of Cincinnati, Dan Tierney, a spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, said in an email.

SEE ALSO: Dad of daughter killed in Ohio massacre says he thinks victims knew their killer

Cockfighting is illegal throughout the United States.

Law enforcement officials have said that the Rhoden family members found shot to death on Friday at four homes in rural Ohio had been targeted for execution in a pre-planned, "sophisticated operation."

See photos from the crime scene:

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Officials: Cockfighting clues found on Ohio property of slain family
Police tape is deployed across from the Union Hill Road exit off Route 32 at a crime scene perimeter, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Media personnel stand on Union Hill Road at the perimeter of a crime scene, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Lt. Michael Preston, of the Ross County Sheriff's Department speaks to the media on Union Hill Road that approaches a crime scene, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along the road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Media and emergency personnel stand at the perimeter of a crime scene as investigation vehicles drive up Union Hill Road, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Crime scene investigation vehicles drive up Union Hill Road as they approach the location of a reported multiple shooting, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Authorities allow crime scene investigation vehicles to pass a perimeter checkpoint near a crime scene, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Media personnel video crime scene investigation vehicles as they drive towards the location of a reported multiple shooting, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Authorities create a perimeter near a crime scene on Union Hill Rd, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Emergency vehicles park outside the perimeter of a crime scene, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A media videographer films an empty Union Hill Road whose access is blocked due to a crime scene investigation, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Authorities set up road blocks at the intersection of Union Hill Road and Route 32 at the perimeter of a crime scene, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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No arrests have been made, officials said. Each of the victims, aged 16 to 44, was found in bed and had been shot in the head, they noted.

A commercial-scale marijuana cultivation operation has also been also found at three of the crime scenes but authorities have not said if that was linked to the killings, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said.

The victims included Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; his ex-wife, Dana Rhoden, 37; and their three children, Hanna, 19, Christopher Jr., 16, and Clarence, 20. Hanna Rhoden was found dead beside her infant daughter, who survived along with a six-month-old boy and a 3-year-old boy.

Three others have been identified as Christopher Sr.'s brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44; a cousin, Gary Rhoden, 38; and Clarence Rhoden's girlfriend, Hannah Gilley, 20, with whom he had fathered a 6-month-old boy and was said to be engaged to.

All eight of the autopsies have been completed, officials said. All of the victims suffered gunshot wounds; one of them was shot five times and another nine times, according to a preliminary report of Ohio's Hamilton County coroner.

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