“We promised that the day would come where we arrêterions those responsible for the massacre in the county of Pike. This day has arrived”. Mike DeWine, attorney general of Ohio, announced Tuesday the arrest of two and a half years later of the principal suspects of the eightfold murder of the family Rhoden.
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On April 22, 2016, eight members of a family from Peebles, a small village nestled at the foot of the Appalachian mountains, had been meticulously murdered. “Each of the eight victims was killed in cold blood. They were shot in their own home, they were brutally and cruelly executed,” says attorney Mike DeWine during a press conference. Three children were recovered at the scene of the crime, the youngest was aged four days.
George Wagner III, age 47, his wife Angela, 48 years old, and their son, George Wagner IV, 27 years old, and Edward, 26 years, are the main suspects of the case. They are accused of having “conspired, planned, executed and concealed” the crime, according to the sheriff of the county, Charles Reader. This assassination has been prepared for months: “they have studied the habits of victims and their routine, they knew the layout of their home, they knew where they were sleeping,” says Mike DeWine. Once the crime is committed, the killers have done everything to erase the traces of their presence. They have amended the telephone records and recordings of surveillance cameras for.
The family had moved to Alaska
The four members of the Wagner family have been arrested in the county of Pike. After moving to Alaska, the family had returned to live not far from the scene of the crime. Two other arrests followed Tuesday in the day: Rita Newcomb and Fredericka Wagner, parent of Billy Wagner, and Angela Wagner. The two women are accused of having helped their children and grandchildren to cover the crime. The four members of the Wagner family accused of murder face the death penalty, still in force in the State of Ohio.
No mobile is advanced today by the police which is, however, before the role of a child: the one that one of the victims, Hanna Rhoden, 19 years old, had had with the youngest of the family accused, Edward Wagner. According to the prosecutor, the custody of the child of three years was the subject of many disagreements between the parents. “There was an obsession for the guard, an obsession for control”, has declared to the press the attorney general.
For the past two and a half years, the police investigation, conducting 550 interviews, gathering more than 700 exhibits in ten States of the country, up in Alaska, where the Wagner family had moved. The sheriff, Charles Reader was reminded in front of the press all the efforts that had been made to find the culprits. The officer told how the case had upset: “This day has changed many things in our lives, including mine. Even 20 years of experience can only prepare you completely for a day like this”.