Here's What Rhoden Family Massacre Autopsy Reports Say

Journalists were allowed to view the preliminary reports
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2018 10:35 AM CDT
Rhoden Family Murders Still Unsolved, but Details Shared
In this May 3, 2016, file photo, mourners gather around caskets during funeral services in McDermott, Ohio, for six of the eight members of the Rhoden family found shot April 22, 2016, at four properties near Piketon, Ohio.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

It's been two years since the Rhoden family massacre in Pike County, Ohio, and while the killings remain stubbornly unsolved, more details of the crime itself have now emerged. That's thanks to a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court, which allowed journalists to see the preliminary autopsy reports of those killed. They show the crime was "methodical, calculated, and vicious," writes the Cincinnati Enquirer, with seven of the eight family members shot in the head more than once. It reports officials have said the family members killed across four locations were murdered in their sleep, but the Columbus Dispatch reports investigators had told the paper they believed family patriarch Christopher Rhoden Sr. was awake when the killers came upon them on April 22, 2016.

The autopsy indicates that may be the case: The report states Rhoden suffered what appears to be a defensive wound to his right forearm, and that one bullet passed through a door before striking him. The 40-year-old was also shot in the torso and cheek. His cousin, Gary Rhoden, 38, was found dead in the same trailer; a "muzzle stain" on the side of his head indicates one of the three shots he received to the head was made with the gun pressed against him. The Enquirer details what befell each of the remaining victims; some were shot under the chin and in the eye. (Read more Rhoden family massacre stories.)

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