Ohio massacre victims showed signs of a struggle: Autopsy

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Authorities probe possible drug connections in Ohio family murders

While investigators in Ohio struggled for a fifth day to find a motive and the person or people responsible for the massacre of eight members of the same family, officials said Tuesday that autopsy results revealed that some of the victims show signs of struggle before they were killed.

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The Pike County Medical Examiner said the eight victims — all part of the Rhoden family — died from gunshot wounds. One victim suffered nine gunshot wounds, and some victims showed soft tissue bruising, indicating that they fought their killer or killers, according to the medical examiner.

Hannah Gilley, 20; Christopher Rhoden, Sr., 40; Christopher Rhoden, Jr., 16; Clarence "Frankie" Rhoden, 20; Dana Rhoden, 37; Gary Rhoden, 38; Hanna Rhoden, 19; and Kenneth Rhoden, 44, of Piketon, were found dead Friday across four Pike County crime scenes.

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Ohio massacre victims showed signs of a struggle: Autopsy
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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A 4-day-old, a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old survived the massacre, which authorities have described as "execution-style" and "pre-planned."

Related: Piketon Massacre: Motive Undetermined, Despite Discovery of Marijuana 'Grow Operations'

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said Tuesday that investigators were looking at about 80 pieces of evidence and had received more than 300 tips, but did not say whether they have identified a suspect or suspects.

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On Sunday, DeWine said three separate marijuana "grow operations" were found during the searches of the crime scenes. Officials told NBC News on Tuesday that one of the grow operations was comprised of more than 100 marijuana plants, and the drugs were not for personal use by the grower.

DeWine and Reader said Sunday that the county and the state as a whole have a "drug problem." A 2011 report said that the drug trafficking threat in Ohio was on the rise. More than $6 million in marijuana was seized last year, and more than 550 plants were seized from Pike County. Some Ohio counties saw less than 10 plants seized, while some had thousands seized last year.

DeWine also said that birds in small cages were found at some of the crime scenes, which might indicate cockfighting was taking place, but the discovery was still under investigation.

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