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4 arrested in Rhoden family murders

WAVERLY — Officials have announced that four people have been arrested in connection with the murders of eight family members in Pike County on April 22, 2016.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Pike County Sheriff Charles S. Reader, and Pike County Prosecutor Robert Junk announced that four members of the Wagner family, of South Webster, were taken into custody this afternoon and are charged with planning and carrying out the murders. Arrested were  George “Billy” Wagner III, 47, Angela Wagner, 48, George Wagner IV, 27 and Edward “Jake” Wagner, 26.

More details about the investigation and arrests will be released to members of the media at a news conference scheduled for 4 p.m. today.

Seven adults and one teenage boy from the Rhoden family were slain in April 2016. They were found shot at four homes near Piketon. Three children were found unharmed.

Killed were Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, his ex-wife Dana Manley Rhoden, 37, and their three children, Hanna May Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, and Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20. Frankie Rhoden’s fiancée, Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, 20, was also killed, along with the elder Christopher Rhoden’s brother Kenneth Rhoden, 44, and cousin Gary Rhoden, 38.

The investigation has centered around the Wagners for the past two years, with DeWine’s office sending out a press release asking the public for information about them.

Jake Wagner has a 4-year-old daughter with victim, Hanna May Rhoden.

The Wagner family was living in Alaska as of last year.

Their Ohio attorney, John Kearson Clark, has said in the past that authorities were harassing the Wagners and said they were not involved in the slayings.