Ohio family charged with the execution-style murder of 8 people on pot farm

Ohio authorities arrested a family on Wednesday accused of the execution-style murder of eight people on a pot farm in 2016.

George "Billy" Wagner III, Angela Wagner, George Wagner IV and Edward "Jake" Wagner were arrested on Wednesday by the Pike County Sheriff's Office on accusations they planned and carried out the murders of the Rhoden family in April of 2016. The Rhoden family was found massacred on their family farm, where authorities found evidence of marijuana "grow operations."

The Wagner family lived in Peebles, Ohio, at the time of the killings but later moved to Alaska.

The victims were identified as 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. A 4-day-old, a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old survived.

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Rhoden family murders in Pike County, Ohio
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Rhoden family murders in Pike County, Ohio
These undated images released by the Ohio Attorney General's office, show from left, George "Billy" Wagner III, Angela Wagner, George Wagner IV and Edward "Jake" Wagner. Authorities announced Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, that the family of four has been arrested in the slayings of eight members of one family in rural Ohio two years ago. (Ohio Attorney General's office via AP)
FILE - In this April 13, 2017, file photo, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, left, discusses the ongoing investigation into the unsolved killings of eight family members in southern Ohio, during a news conference in Columbus, Ohio, attended by Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office is leading the investigation. The Ohio Supreme Court has received the unredacted autopsy reports from eight slayings in one family as it considers media lawsuits seeking access to those full reports from the unsolved case. Court filings Wednesday, May 3, indicated the reports from the Pike County coroner have been submitted under seal following the justices’ April 19 request for the documents. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins, File)
FILE - In this Friday, April 22, 2016 file photo, authorities set up road blocks at the intersection of Union Hill Road and Route 32 at the perimeter of a crime scene, in Pike County, Ohio. As the investigation into the killings of eight family members in rural Ohio enters its fifth day, more details are being released. Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk told The Columbus Dispatch Monday, April 25, 2016, that the marijuana operations discovered at three of the four crime scenes included a grow-house sheltering hundreds of plants. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
FILE – In this May 3, 2016, file photo, mourners gather around caskets for six of the eight members of the Rhoden family found shot April 22, 2016, at four properties near Piketon, Ohio, during funeral services at Scioto Burial Park in McDermott, Ohio. Ohio State Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader planned a news conference Thursday, April 13, 2017, about the unsolved killings, as the anniversary of the massacre approaches. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
This undated photo provided by the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Pike County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office shows George Wagner IV. Authorities on Monday, June 19, 2017, asked for information about four former Ohio residents, including George Wagner IV, who may have moved to Alaska as part of their investigation into the unsolved slayings of eight family members last year. (Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Pike County Sheriff's Office via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Pike County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office shows Angela Wagner. Authorities on Monday, June 19, 2017, asked for information about four former Ohio residents, including Angela Wagner, who may have moved to Alaska as part of their investigation into the unsolved slayings of eight family members last year. (Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Pike County Sheriff's Office via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Pike County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office shows Edward "Jake" Wagner. Authorities on Monday, June 19, 2017, asked for information about four former Ohio residents, including Edward "Jake" Wagner, who may have moved to Alaska as part of their investigation into the unsolved slayings of eight family members last year. (Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Pike County Sheriff's Office via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Pike County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office shows George "Billy" Wagner III, who investigators say is a former Peebles, Ohio, resident believed to be living in Alaska. Authorities on Monday, June 19, 2017, asked for information about four former Ohio residents, including Wagner, who may have moved to Alaska as part of their investigation into the unsolved slayings of eight family members last year. (Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Pike County Sheriff's Office via AP)
FILE - In this April 27, 2016, file photo, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, left, and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, right, discuss the slayings of eight members of the Rhoden family found shot April 22, 2016, at four properties near Piketon, Ohio, during a news conference in Waverly, Ohio. The office of DeWine released redacted autopsy reports Friday, Sept. 23 in the unsolved slayings of the seven adults and a teenage boy, confirming all but one victim was shot multiple times in the head. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 photo, a truck passes a sign for the election of Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader in Waverly, Ohio. The still-unsolved killing of eight members of the Rhoden family, an investigation overseen by Reader and the Ohio Attorney General's Office, has become an election issue for many voters in the rural southern Ohio county. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
FILE – In this May 3, 2016, file photo, hearses for six of the eight members of the Rhoden family found shot April 22, 2016, at four properties near Piketon, Ohio, depart during funeral services from Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth, Ohio. A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirmed Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, that investigators are working under the theory it wasn't a single attacker, and The Columbus Dispatch reports Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader referenced the suspicion of multiple "killers" during a Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, court hearing related to custody of two of the three children who weren't harmed in the attack. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
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)
Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, left, discusses the ongoing investigation into the unsolved killings of eight family members in southern Ohio on April 22, 2016, at a news conference attended by Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office is leading the investigation, on Thursday, April 13, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Reader and DeWine both said they believe individuals may be holding back information out of fear of self-incrimination over their own, unrelated drug crimes. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
Mourners gather around caskets at Scioto Burial Park during funeral services for six of the eight murder victims from Pike County, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in McDermott, Ohio. Seven adults and a 16-year-old boy from the Rhoden family were found dead April 22 at four properties scattered across a few miles of countryside near Piketon, about 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Caskets are loaded into hearses as mourners gather outside Dry Run Church of Christ during funeral services for six of the eight murder victims from Pike County, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in West Portsmouth, Ohio. Seven adults and a 16-year-old boy from the Rhoden family were found dead April 22 at four properties scattered across a few miles of countryside near Piketon, about 80 miles east of Cincinnati. All eight were shot in the head, some had other gunshot wounds and bruising, and none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted, authorities said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners leave Dry Run Church of Christ during funeral services for six of the eight murder victims from Pike County, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in West Portsmouth, Ohio. Seven adults and a 16-year-old boy from the Rhoden family were found dead April 22 at four properties scattered across a few miles of countryside near Piketon, about 80 miles east of Cincinnati. All eight were shot in the head, some had other gunshot wounds and bruising, and none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted, authorities said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners leave Scioto Burial Park after funeral services for six of the eight murder victims from Pike County, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in McDermott, Ohio. Seven adults and a 16-year-old boy from the Rhoden family were found dead April 22 at four properties scattered across a few miles of countryside near Piketon, about 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Brittany Barker, a neighbor of the Rhoden family, speaks to the media outside her home near a police roadblock on Union Hill Road at the outer perimeter of a crime scene, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio. Seven adults and 16-year-old boy were found dead Friday, April 22 at four properties near Piketon. Investigators have interviewed more than 50 people in the case but have made no arrests. "It doesn't feel like home anymore," Barker said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners arrive at Dry Run Church of Christ for funeral services for six of the eight murder victims from Pike County, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in West Portsmouth, Ohio. Seven adults and a 16-year-old boy from the Rhoden family were found dead April 22 at four properties scattered across a few miles of countryside near Piketon, about 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Police cruisers are parked outside Dry Run Church of Christ before funeral services for six of the eight murder victims from Pike County, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in West Portsmouth, Ohio. Seven adults and a 16-year-old boy from the Rhoden family were found dead April 22 at four properties scattered across a few miles of countryside near Piketon, about 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners arrive at Dry Run Church of Christ for funeral services for six of the eight murder victims from Pike County, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in West Portsmouth, Ohio. Seven adults and a 16-year-old boy from the Rhoden family were found dead April 22 at four homes scattered across a few miles of countryside near Piketon, about 80 miles east of Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Ohio State Attorney General Mike DeWine, left, and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader cross under police tape before holding a news conference, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Waverly, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Ohio State Attorney General Mike DeWine, left, and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader approach the site of a news conference, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Waverly, Ohio. A coroner's report released Tuesday showed new details of vicious violence in the shooting deaths of eight members of a rural southern Ohio family, finding most victims were shot three to nine times each and some of them were bruised. Meanwhile, the hunt for whoever is responsible continued to expand, with more than 200 law enforcement officials involved. (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 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)
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)
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)
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)
Mourners arrive to attend a funeral for six members of the Rhoden family, who were shot to death in rural Pike County on April 22, at Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth, Ohio, U.S. May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot
Mourners hug after the funeral service for six members of the Rhoden family, who were shot to death in rural Pike County on April 22, at Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth, Ohio, U.S. May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot
Mourners depart the Rhoden burial site at Scioto Burial Park after the funeral for six members of the Rhoden family, who were shot to death in rural Pike County on April 22, at Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth, Ohio, U.S. May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot
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Jake Wagner, 26, was a long-time former boyfriend of victim Hanna Rhoden and shared custody of their daughter at the time of the massacre.

The Rhodens were found dead in four separate homes on the farm. Autopsies from the Pike County Medical Examiner showed that all eight victims died of gunshots wounds and evidence of a struggle. Some of the victims had shown soft tissue bruising, indicating that they fought their killer or killers, according to the medical examiner's report.

While searching the crime scenes, officials found that one of the grow operations was comprised of more than 100 marijuana plants.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said at the time the said the murders were a "pre-planned execution." Authorities have yet to give a suspected motive for the killings.

Investigators scrambling to determine who targeted the Rhoden family and why had conducted over 130 interviews and processed over 100 pieces of evidence and 550 tips, while getting assistance from more than 20 law enforcement agencies.

 

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