Pike County murders: Search ongoing at family horse farm

RELATED: Timeline: The shocking events of the Pike County massacre

The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation began a search Monday morning at Flying W Farms off Camp Creek Road in southeastern Ohio.

The property is owned by Fredericka Wagner, the mother of George “Billy” Wagner III. Billy, his wife, Angela Wagner, and their sons, George Wagner IV and Edward “Jake” Wagner, are accused of the execution-style killings of eight members of a Pike County family April 22, 2016.

>> Who are the Wagners? Pike County murder investigators want to know

Steve Irwin, senior public information officer for the attorney general’s office, confirmed Wednesday night the search is connected to the slayings. However, he was unable to release details regarding the focus of the search, nor whether any further arrests or charges were expected as a result.

“It’s a sealed search warrant,” he said.

There's a gag order in place which means no one involved with the case can talk about it. That means we have to relay on taking a deeper dive into court documents for new details in a case where six members of one family are accused of murdering or trying to cover up the murders of eight members of another family. News Center 7's John Bedell reports.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Hamilton County and city of Portsmouth Fire Department are assisting the BCI.

“We anticipate being there through tomorrow (Thursday) at least,” Irwin said.

RELATED: Court docs reveal custody battle at heart of killings

Former Attorney General Mike DeWine, now governor, said a custody battle involving Sophia, the young daughter of one of the victims, Hanna May Rhoden, 19, and one Jake Wagner, of played a central role in the killings.

Top Row: Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, Christopher Rhoden Jr., Hanna Rhoden. Bottom Row: Dana Manley Rhoden, Kenneth Rhoden, Gary Rhoden, Christopher Rhoden Sr.

Also killed were Hanna Rhoden’s parents, Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, and Dana Manley Rhoden, 37; brothers Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, and Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Frankie’s fiancee Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, 20; uncle Kenneth Rhoden, 44; and cousin Gary Rhoden, 38.

RELATED: Charges dropped against Fredericka Wagner

Fredericka Wagner and Angela Wagner’s mother Rita Newcomb were accused of helping cover up the Pike County homicides. They both were charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, and Newcomb also was charged with forgery. However, in June the charges against Wagner were dropped.


>> Death penalty possible for 4 of 6 arrested in Rhoden slayings

>> Former Ohio AG DeWine lays out charges in 2016 Rhoden family killings

>> Attorney General: A ‘picture emerged’ as Pike County murder investigation progressed

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