Pike County Sheriff's Deputies
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Ohio AG: Pike Co. Killings ‘Pre-Planned Execution’

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The state attorney general has called the slayings of eight family members in rural Ohio a “pre-planned execution.”

Mike DeWine said in a news conference late Sunday afternoon that the attorney general’s office don’t know if there is one or more suspects but that the investigation into who killed the Rhoden family, and why, will be lengthy.

DeWine called the killings a “sophisticated operation.”

More than 100 personnel in the southern county of Pike are assisting in the investigation.

Seven adults and a teenage boy were found fatally shot Friday at four different properties near Piketon, about 60 miles south of Columbus. Autopsies are being performed this weekend. Authorities said investigations at the crime scenes are complete but will remain closed.

At a press conference on Sunday, DeWine confirmed that marijuana grow operations were found at three of the crime scenes.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said in the same press conference that he has never been in contact with the Rhoden family for any situations of a “criminal nature.”

A cook at a restaurant in rural southern Ohio says many people in the community remain on edge after the slayings of eight family members.

Maggie Owens says her son was friends with one of the victims, 16-year-old Christopher Rhoden Jr. Owens says she also knew 37-year-old Dana Rhoden, who she described in a phone interview on Sunday as having “a heart of gold.”

Authorities were still trying Sunday to find out who targeted the Rhoden family and why.