Rhoden relative's shooting death deemed 'suspicious' but unrelated to family murders

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 01:43:17-04

Pike County authorities confirmed Wednesday they believe the June 11 shooting death of Violet Renee Taylor, a relative of the Rhoden family killed en masse in April 2016, occurred under "suspicious circumstances."

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation does not, however, believe her death was connected to the execution of her eight family members, according to the Journal-News

RELATED: I-Team: Still no arrests two years after Pike County massacre

Instead, the Journal-News wrote, the lingering question in Taylor's death -- caused by a single gunshot wound to the chest -- is whether it was suicide or homicide. 

The Pike County Coroner's Office said Wednesday the death had not been classified as either. Although a 911 caller who reported the death told police Taylor shot herself, that caller did not say they had witnessed the shooting firsthand. 

Instead, "some guy" who had been with her at the time told the caller the death was a suicide.

Although a Pike County man was identified as a suspect shortly after the discovery of Taylor's body, no charges had been filed against him by Wednesday.

The April 2016 deaths of Taylor's relatives, whose ages ranged from 44 to 16, remain unsolved. All except 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden were shot multiple times.

The Journal-News is a news partner of WCPO.