Many agencies aid in Pike County massacre investigation

WAVERLY, Ohio – More than 40 counties have provided resources to assist Pike County deputies with their investigation into the deaths of eight family members.

Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick, who leads outside operations for the investigation, said law enforcement officers and agencies from outside Pike County have contributed hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars of equipment to the investigation.

Authorities are investigating the slayings of eight members of the Rhoden family, who were found dead in four separate Pike County homes April 22.

More than 300 deputies and 15 sheriffs from outside Pike County have made the trip to help out, a big boost to Pike County’s force of just 13 deputies. There has been so much response that Levorchick said he’s had to turn some deputies away.

“The overall goal is to bring justice to the family and to the community,” Levorchick said.

Butler County loaned the command center where the investigation is headquartered and sent three helicopter trips, along with more than 15 deputies taking extra shifts. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said they had received assistance from other agencies when they had a school shooting.

“We all depend on each other when we have these situations,” Jones said.

Morrow County has fewer than 20 deputies, but still sent more than five on their days off to work overtime and patrol. Ottawa County sends more than 20 deputies each day, Levorchick said.

It has been important to keep the extra deputies working in Pike County to protect the crime scenes, according to Levorchick. He said the community had been friendly to them during their work.

“The community has been so strong down here, and they’ve been so welcoming to those who have been down from outside,” he said.

Steve Hodson, a Rhoden family friend, said they were grateful Pike County was getting all the assistance.

“I’m glad they had different counties come here … It’s been really good for everybody,” he said.
 

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