PIKETON: Establishments counselled inhabitants to be careful in this part of rural southern Ohio heading into the weekend as the search continued for the alleged who lethally shot eight members of a family at four different properties.
Detectives questioned more than 30 people eager to find clues in the deaths of the seven adults and a 16-year-old boy whose bodies were found in homes south west of Piketon on Friday.
All dead were shot in the head, authorities said, and it seemed some were killed as they slept, counting a mother in bed with her 4-day-old baby close. The baby and two other small children were not hurt.
Authorities didn’t release the victims’ names but said they’re members of the Rhoden family. Investigators said none of the deaths appeared self-inflicted, so they believe at least one assailant is at large. Law enforcement officials say whoever is responsible for the killings should be considered armed and dangerous.
The reason for the homicides isn’t known, authorities said, but they insisted living members of the Rhoden family to take safety measures.
“This really is a question of public safety, and particularly for any of the Rhoden family,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said.
Establishments didn’t issue any data on what kind or how many arms might have been used or whether something was lost from the homes.
Goldie Hilderbran said she lives about a mile from where she has been told a shooting took place ─ news she received from a mail carrier who told her deputies had an area blocked off.
“She just told me she knew something really bad has happened,” Hilderbran said.
Gov. John Kasich, campaigning in Connecticut for his Republican presidential bid, said his office was watching the state in Pike County and the search for the killer or killers.
“But we’ll find them, we’ll catch them and they’ll be brought to justice,” he said.
The FBI in Cincinnati also said it was carefully observing the situation and has offered assistance if needed.