Local and state officials said Friday that eight people from the same family have been killed at four separate locations in Pike County, Ohio.
County Sheriff Charles Reader told reporters that, while investigators are still identifying the victims, they do know that all are members of the Rhoden family. He adds that all of the deceased are adults except for one 16-year-old boy.
“Each one of the victims appears to have been executed. Each one of the victims appears to have been shot in the head,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said at the press conference. “The family involved, we’re advising the family members to be very careful and take particular caution.”
Emphasizing that authorities are still in the early stages of the investigation, Reader added that they have not taken anyone into custody in connection with the deaths. “I want to urge everyone to be under the understanding that there is a strong possibility that any individuals involved with this are armed and extremely dangerous, he said.
Three children survived, Reader said: a 4-day-old, a 6-month-old, and a 3-year-old.
“I think what makes this particularly grisly is the fact that you have these children involved, who obviously were there when the executions took place,” DeWine said.
The Associated Press describes Pike County as an “an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s office will lead the investigation into the killings.