BCI: Posts about arrests in Pike County massacre are just 'bad Facebook rumors'

Posted at 3:46 PM, Aug 17, 2018

WAVERLY, Ohio -- Social media posts are driving speculation that investigators have made a break in the Rhoden family massacre in Pike County, but Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader and an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation spokesman both said no arrests have been made in the case. 

Reader wrote in a text message that the "investigation remains very active and continues. No further comment."

The posts circulating online are nothing more than "bad Facebook rumors," according to the Ohio BCI. 

Said rumors started making their rounds Thursday afternoon, when residents reported seeing SWAT vehicles at a farm in Pike County owned by the Wagner family. One of the family members, Jake Wagner, had a baby with one of the victims, Hannah Rhoden. 

Rhoden and seven of her family members were shot to death in their homes on Union Hill Road and a camper a few miles away in April 2016. Investigators have never released a motive or information about any suspects.

About a year ago, the attorney general announced that authorities were looking for information on the Wagners, but didn't call them suspects. It turned out they had moved to Alaska.

In May 2017, the Franklin County Sheriff's SWAT team was called in to help search two properties connected to the Wagners. A sheriff's department spokesman said at the time that the search was for evidence in the Rhoden slayings.

One of the rumors that gained legs this week was that a SWAT team searched two properties that are connected to the Wagner family Thursday. Officials at the Pike County Sheriff's Office said they didn't know anything about it.

A spokesman for the Franklin County Sheriff's Office said the Pike County sheriff did request help from their SWAT team Thursday but wouldn't say what they were doing or where they did it.