Four arrested in Pike County murders that left 8 dead

This undated images released by the Ohio Attorney General's office shows George

Arrests made in 2016 killings of 8 Ohio family members

A news conference is scheduled to take place at the Pike County Sheriff's Office late Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities arrested a family of four Tuesday in the gruesome 2016 slayings of eight people from another family in rural OH, a crime that prosecutors suggested stemmed from a custody dispute.

Four members of a family have been arrested in the fatal shootings of seven adults and a 16-year-old boy that rocked southern OH almost three years ago, state officials said. No motive was announced. Angela Wagner was arrested at her home in Scioto County, Ohio while their sons were arrested during a traffic stop in Ross County, Ohio.

Eight members of the Rhoden family were killed including two teenagers.

The relief some officials have about arrests made in the slayings of eight family members is tempered by concerns about the costs associated with holding trials for the suspects in the rural OH community.

DeWine said a final piece of important evidence was discovered on October 30, but said the case involves an accumulation of evidence and does not rest exclusively on one piece of evidence. "The team also traveled thousands of miles to ten separate states as a direct result of this investigation", said DeWine. Prosecutors could ask for the death penalty in this case.

The Wagners' attorney maintained the family's innocence Tuesday in a statement.

The suspects had a sophisticated plan to murder the victims and cover their own tracks, but DeWine said it was not sophisticated enough to evade investigators.

The victims were Jake Wagner's longtime former girlfriend, 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden, who shared custody of their daughter, her parents, siblings and other relatives.

Attorney John Clark, who represents the Wagner family, says they look forward to their day in court so they can clear their names. Lexington police weren't sure if he had been living in the area.

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"The suspects - a husband, wife, and their two adult sons - are now charged with killing seven members of the Rhoden family and the fiancée of one of the victims", said a post on the attorney general's Facebook page.

Details about what led authorities to arrest the four weren't immediately available. The two women, who are the mothers of Billy and Angela respectively, faced felony charges of obstruction justice and perjury for allegedly misleading authorities during the investigation.

None was named a suspect at the time.

Investigators discovered marijuana growing operations at three of the crime scenes and suspect drugs may have played a role in the brutal killings.

Newcomb is Angela Wagner's mother and Fredericka Wagner is Billy Wagner's mother.

Clark once told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the family was being "harassed while the real killer or killers are out there". Investigators reportedly claimed that all but one of them were shot multiple times in the head. Some also had bruising consistent with a 911 caller's description that two appeared to have been beaten.

In April, authorities said they had narrowed the investigation to focus on the Wagners, who had left the state for Alaska but recently returned to Ohio.

"There's no evidence of all the speculation that this was drug-related in the sense of the motive". Frankie Rhoden's fiancee, Hannah Gilley, 20 and Christopher Rhoden Sr.'s brother Kenneth Rhoden, 44 and cousin Gary Rhoden, 38 were also killed.

The girl is the daughter of 26-year-old Jake Wagner, and Hanna Rhoden, who was 19 when she was shot to death. He alleged that the four suspects knew the layouts of the victims' homes and where they slept, and that after killing them, the Wagners tampered with phones, a silencer, shell casings and surveillance cameras in an attempt to hide evidence.

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