Peebles, OH – Imagine driving through a small town, the pace is slow and folks are sitting on their porches at the end of the day waving as friends pass by, a place where everyone knows one another and a place where these country folks have a strong protectiveness that believe in “taking care of their own”. Most people felt secure enough in their own neighborhoods to leave their doors unlocked at night, that is, until now.
Yes, that’s how it was until Friday, April 22, 2016, when the sleepy town of Peebles, was awakened to a tragedy that has everyone fearing for their lives, especially those with the last name of Rhoden. In one night it was as if they moved from a scene in Mayberry to NYPD Blue and this has everyone packing a gun for protection.
The Rhoden family were killed sometime between midnight and early morning, reports say they were all shot in the head once while sleeping but now it is known that some of the victims put up a fight before being killed. The autopsies shows some victims also had bruising associated to struggling.
Names of the victims include: Dana, Christopher Sr., Gary, Hanna, Kenneth, Clarence “Frankie,” Christopher Jr. Rhoden and Hannah Gilley who were all shot at 4 nearby locations on the Adams-Pike County lines; three homes on Union Hill Road in Peebles and one on Left Hook Rd. in Rarden. The three young children’s lives were spared and include, a 4 day old that was laying in her mother’s arms, a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old.
The only thing known is that eight Rhoden family members are dead of multiple gunshot wounds, in multiple locations, and no one knows why. The coroner released its findings on how the victims died:
- One victim with a single gunshot wound
- One victim with two gunshot wounds
- Two victims with three gunshot wounds
- One victim with four gunshot wounds
- Two victims with five gunshot wounds
- One victim with nine gunshot wounds
Please donate to the Rhoden Family Burial Fund
The eight family members of the Rhoden family have now been released for burial. The Ohio Victims of Crimes is not helping the family according to a Rhoden family member, a Gofundme page has been set up and everyone is urged to donate any amount possible. There is a bank account set up at First State Bank in Peebles, Ohio, 45660, if you’d like to contact them directly at 145 N Main St, Peebles, OH 45660. (937) 587-6191
Pike County Sheriff
Pike County Sheriff, Charles Reader, tells the rural Appalachian community and Rhoden’s surviving family members, “If you are fearful arm yourself if you feel you need to protect yourself do so.”
Rhoden Family Update
- Four homes where the 8 Rhoden family members were found shot were moved to a secure storage area at the Hadsell Chemical Processing Plant in Waverly, Ohio, to better secure the property until the investigation is over.
- Investigators say the homes will stay in storage until the murderer or murderers are convicted.
“We want to preserve them [the homes] for two reasons,” said Mike DeWine, Ohio’s Attorney General said on Thursday. “One, if we have to go back in and find something or look at the layout again. Second, we want to preserve them, frankly, for the families. The sheriff and I met with the families an hour or so ago and one of the things we told them is we want to preserve this for whoever should have it.”