Police name 4 people in request for tips after family slain

The Associated Press

FILE – In this May 3, 2016, file photo, mourners gather around caskets for six of the eight members of the Rhoden family found shot April 22, 2016, at four properties near Piketon, Ohio, during funeral services at Scioto Burial Park in McDermott, Ohio. As part of the investigation into the unsolved slayings of the eight members of the Rhoden family, authorities asked for details Monday, June 19, 2017, on personal or business interactions and conversations that members of the public may have had with four former Ohio residents who once lived near the victims, although none of the four were named as suspects. 

AP Photo/John Minchillo

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Authorities on Monday asked for information about four former Ohio residents who may have moved to Alaska as part of their investigation into the unsolved slayings of eight family members last year.

Investigators said they’re seeking details on personal or business interactions and conversations that people may have had with the four, who once lived near the victims in southern Ohio.

This undated photo provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Pike County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office shows Edward “Jake” Wagner. Authorities on Monday, June 19, 2017, asked for information about four former Ohio residents, including Edward “Jake” Wagner, who may have moved to Alaska as part of their investigation into the unsolved slayings of eight family members last year. 

Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Pike County Sheriff’s Office via AP

“Specifically, information could include, but is not limited to, information regarding vehicles, firearms, and ammunition,” Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said in a statement.

The four were named as George “Billy” Wagner III, Angela Wagner and their sons George Wagner IV and Edward “Jake” Wagner. None was named a suspect.

This undated photo provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Pike County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office shows George Wagner IV. Authorities on Monday, June 19, 2017, asked for information about four former Ohio residents, including George Wagner IV, who may have moved to Alaska as part of their investigation into the unsolved slayings of eight family members last year. 

Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Pike County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Jake Wagner was a long-time former boyfriend of Hanna Rhoden, one of the eight victims, and shared custody of their daughter at the time of the massacre.

Jake Wagner and Angela Wagner told the Cincinnati Enquirer this month they were not involved in the April 2016 killings.

“Please let’s concentrate on finding the real monsters who did this,” Jake Wagner said in a combined email from him and his mother, the newspaper reported June 8.

This undated photo provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Pike County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office shows George “Billy” Wagner III, who investigators say is a former Peebles, Ohio, resident believed to be living in Alaska. Authorities on Monday, June 19, 2017, asked for information about four former Ohio residents, including Wagner, who may have moved to Alaska as part of their investigation into the unsolved slayings of eight family members last year. 

Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Pike County Sheriff’s Office via AP

In May, investigators searched property in southern Ohio recently sold by the Wagners. The family, formerly of Peebles, is believed to be living in Alaska.

“What has happened to us in the last few weeks has been devastating and will follow us for the rest of our lives,” Angela Wagner wrote in an email to the Enquirer. “Hanna was loved by all of us. She was like a daughter to me then and now.”

Authorities suspect there were multiple attackers who were familiar with the victims’ homes and the surrounding area. The motive behind the April 22, 2016, killings remains a mystery.

This undated photo provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Pike County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office shows Angela Wagner. Authorities on Monday, June 19, 2017, asked for information about four former Ohio residents, including Angela Wagner, who may have moved to Alaska as part of their investigation into the unsolved slayings of eight family members last year. 

Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Pike County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Besides Hanna Rhoden, those killed in the attack were her father, Christopher Rhoden Sr.; her mother, Dana Rhoden; her brothers Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden and Christopher Rhoden Jr.; Frankie Rhoden’s fiancee, Hannah Gilley; a cousin, Gary Rhoden; and Kenneth Rhoden, Christopher Rhoden’s brother. They ranged in age from 16 to 44.

DeWine’s office has said Christopher Rhoden Sr. had “a large-scale marijuana growing operation,” leading to speculation the killings were drug-related.

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