Back in 2016, police were stumped when an entire family of rural Ohio farmers was brutally executed in multiple locations throughout the county. Investigators eventually learned that all eight victims, all members of the Rhoden family, helped make ends meet by conducting a massive marijuana growing operation. Initially, authorities believed drugs played a role in the family’s death. Now, authorities have finally made four arrests in connection to the killings.
Four suspects, all members of another family, have all been taken into police custody. 47-year-old George Wagner III, 48-year-old Angela Wagner, 27-year-old George Wagner IV and 26-year-old Edward Wagner have all been charged with plotting and carrying out the eight murders. The official charges of eight counts of aggravated murder carries the death penalty.
When the victims were discovered back in 2016, it was obvious that their murders were well-planned out. Seven victims were found in three different homes, while another victim was found in a different area in Piketon. Most of the victims were shot and killed in their sleep. Police discovered three small children at three of the crime scenes ranging from 4-days-old to 3-years-old.
Mike DeWine, the Attorney General of Ohio, confirmed the arrests in a recent press release. He has alleged that the Wagner family spent months carefully plotting out these vicious murders before eventually carrying out the heinous crimes. They also reportedly tampered with evidence, including some of the victim’s cell phones, to cover up their deeds. The motive for the murders hasn’t been fully disclosed, but the Attorney General did note that the custody of one of the younger children “plays a role” in the case. It appears that Hanna Rhoden’s oldest daughter was fathered by Jake Wagner. The story takes an even wider turn when one realizes that Hanna was only 15-years-old when she conceived, and Jake had been 20-years-old at the time.