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Family of 4 arrested in killing of Ohio family in 2016

PIKETON, Ohio (WCMH) — More than two years after the murder of 8 family members, officials announce the arrests of four people.

According to an email from Attorney General Mike DeWine, Pike County Sheriff Charles S. Reader, and Pike County Prosecutor Robert Junk announced the arrests of four people for the murders of eight people in Pike County on April 22, 2016. 

  • George “Billy” Wagner III, 47
  • Angela Wagner, 48
  • George Wagner IV, 27 
  • Edward “Jake” Wagner, 26

The victims include 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his ex-wife, 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; their three children, 16-year-old Christopher Rhoden Jr., 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden and 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden; Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; their cousin, 38-year-old Gary Rhoden, and 20-year-old Hannah Gilley.

Redacted autopsy reports show most victims were shot multiple times. Three children were found unharmed.

Investigators said the Wagners were good friends with the Rhoden family and they recently moved to Alaska. They were never named as suspects in the initial investigation. 

Jake Wagner was a long-time former boyfriend of Hanna Rhoden, one of the eight victims, and shared custody of their daughter at the time of the massacre.

Both Jake Wagner and Angela Wagner told the Cincinnati Enquirer they were not involved in the April 2016 killings.

Angela Wagner said in an email to the newspaper that what happened was devastating and Hanna Rhoden was like a daughter to her.

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

It appeared some of them were killed as they slept, including Hanna Rhoden, who was in bed with her newborn nearby, authorities said. The child, Hannah Gilley’s 6-month-old baby and another small child weren’t hurt.

Three funerals were held for the victims.

The office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has said one of the victims, Christopher Rhoden Sr., had “a large-scale marijuana growing operation,” leading some to speculate the killings were drug-related or even connected to Mexican drug cartels.

For more information on the original investigation click here.