Pike County Sheriff Charles S. Reader warned residents on Friday to be careful, noting that the shooter or shooters may be on the loose.
Investigators had interviewed more than 30 people, DeWine said late Friday night. They continued working through the night, talking to people, executing search warrants and examining crime scene evidence. DeWine on Saturday morning updated Ohio Gov. John Kasich on the investigation, which is now being led by agents in his office, at Reader’s request.
Another official on Saturday read a statement from the surviving members of the Rhoden family, expressing gratitude for the support they’ve received, according to video recorded by the Chillicothe Gazette.
“The Rhoden family would like to thank everyone for all the outpouring of prayers and support for their family. They ask that you continue to keep them in your prayers,” the official said. The family also expressed thanks for the law enforcement response and asked anyone with information relevant to the investigation to come forward.
Phil Fulton, a pastor at Union Hill Church, which the family previously attended, told the Associated Press that relatives and friends of the deceased are “not doing well at all.”
The church is near to some of the four properties in rural southern Ohio where the family members were found. Fulton said more than 100 grieving relatives and friends have visited the church, which will stay open to them as needed.
“As you can imagine, this is a very, very difficult time for this family,” DeWine said on Friday night. He added that authorities believe it is “very unlikely” that the individual or individuals who committed the killings were among the deceased.
The crime scene he saw on Friday was unlike anything Reader had seen in 20 years serving the area, he said on Friday.
“Never have I ever imagined such devastation to the family, to the county, to myself or to the staff. Never have we lost so many people to a murderer or murderers in this county,” Reader said.
Authorities ask anyone with information on the case to call 1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at 740-947-2111.