On Friday afternoon, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader released redacted versions of the autopsies performed on members of the Rhoden family, murdered execution-style overnigtht on April 21 and 22, 2016 in houses on two roads. Seven died in three houses on Union Hill Road, while a single victim was found on Left Fork Road, both in Pike County.
When the autopsies were released, information had been redacted as Confidential Law Enforcement Investigative Records pursuant to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 313.10(A)(2)(e) and ORC 149.43(A)(1)(h). In every case the toxicology reports were redacted. DeWine said the redacted documents, which were voluntarily released by investigators, were prepared to balance the current needs of the active investigation with transparency of the law enforcement process.
While much of the autopsies are redacted, the cause of death is listed in each case.
Christopher Rhoden, Jr., 16, died of multiple gunshot wounds; Christopher D. Rhoden, Sr., 40, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head and upper extremities; Clarence Franklin Rhoden, 20, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head; Gary Rhoden, 37, succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds to the head and Kenneth Rhoden, 44, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head.
Three women were also killed in the attack. Dana Rhoden, 37, passed away from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and neck; Hanna Rhoden, 19, died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and Hannah Hazel Gilley, 20, also died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head.
The autopsies were signed by forensic pathologist Karen Looman, D.O. of the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office and the redacted toxicologies were mostly signed by toxicologist Rachel M. Hamilton of the Pike County Coroner’s Office. One was signed by Roger G. Topmiller, chief of toxicology.
DeWine called the murders the worst he had ever seen in his career in law enforcement.
“It certainly has been the worst tragedy,” DeWine said. “If you go back in the history of the Attorney General’s Office and BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation) my guess is we have never tackled an investigation involving eight people of the same family who were killed. So it’s unusual that way and probably unusual nationwide as well. Some people say – ‘that’s unusual for Pike County,’ yes, but it’s also unusual for the country to have this execution style, four different locations of people of the same family all killed within a relatively short period of time. It’s very, very unusual.”
Investigators continue to receive and process evidence and follow up on tips.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.
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