Officials: Marijuana grow operations found at 3 Pike County crime scenes

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PIKE COUNTY, Ohio — Attorney General Mike DeWine and a member of the Pike County Sheriff's Department spoke to the media on Sunday afternoon to give an update on the investigation.

Not only did they say the murders were "very methodical and well-planned" but that they don't want to reveal too much information and tip off the suspect or suspects.

At the end of the presser, DeWine confirmed that there were marijuana grow operations found at 3 of the 4 crime scenes. He would not comment if the marijuana was related to the murders.

Background

Seven adults and a teenage boy were found fatally shot Friday at four different properties near Piketon, about 60 miles south of Columbus. The governor said in an interview  that he is confident the perpetrators would be found and "justice will be delivered to them."

A spokeswoman for Ohio's attorney general says authorities have yet to release the four locations where the family members were slain, though evidence collection has been completed.

Spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said Sunday that investigators want to keep the scenes preserved until all the autopsies have been completed and possibly longer than that.

Del Greco says investigators want to keep the scenes preserved in case they need to review them again.

In the meantime, Pike County residents are rattled by a rare major crime that took the lives of the members of the tight-knit family known as hard workers.

Authorities were still trying Sunday to find out who targeted the seven adults and teenage boy and why. Their bodies were found Friday at four different homes near Piketon, about 60 miles south of Columbus.

Investigators say they've questioned more than 60 people.

Continuing coverage, here. 

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20164:40 pm

Officials are expected to speak around 4:45 p.m.

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20164:57 pm

Sheriff: At this time there are deputies from several counties keeping the scenes secure

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20164:58 pm

Sheriff: Although BCI is done at each scene, they want the scenes secure in case BCI needs to go back

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20164:58 pm

Sheriff: We are working around the clock, 24 hours a day

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20164:59 pm

Sheriff: This is a very lengthy process

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20164:59 pm

Sheriff: Sending additional officials to search the woods around the homes to make sure nothing was missed

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20164:59 pm

Sheriff: I want to thank everyone that has sent units, food, etc. 

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:00 pm

AG DeWine: We have received over 100 tips

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:00 pm

DeWine: Between 50-60 interviews and interviews are ongoing at this moment

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:01 pm

DeWine: 18 pieces of evidence are being analyzed 

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:02 pm

DeWine: This was a pre-planned execution of 8 individuals. It was a sophisticated operation.

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:03 pm

DeWine: This is not a case where someone got mad and shot some and there’s one or two witnesses, it’s a very different case

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:03 pm

DeWine: We will continue to give you information.

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:03 pm

DeWine: We will not be telling the bad guy/bad guys everything we know

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:04 pm

DeWine: A lot of what is going on here is just basic, old-fashioned police work

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:05 pm

DeWine will not comment if any drugs were found

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:05 pm

DeWine will not comment about guns/gun used 

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:05 pm

DeWine says he won’t give out info that could hinder the prosecution of the killer/killers

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:06 pm

DeWine won’t comment about if the Rhodens were involved in anything illegal

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:06 pm

Sheriff: Family was a target, does not believe public is at risk

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:07 pm

Sheriff: If you are fearful, arm yourself 

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:08 pm

Sheriff: Deputies will do their best to protect the citizens

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:08 pm

Sheriff: This was very methodical and well-planned, most of them targeted while they were sleeping

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:09 pm

DeWine: They thought this thing through

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:09 pm

Sheriff: In the end, we have to provide this information to a prosectuor

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:10 pm

DeWine will not say that there are no suspects, but says not to read into that

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:11 pm

Sheriff: Will not comment on motive 

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:12 pm

Sheriff: Says there is a drug problem in this area of Ohio

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:14 pm

Sheriff: Will not comment about the whereabouts of the children

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:14 pm

DeWine: 7 autopsies completed, 8th tomorrow 

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:15 pm

Sheriff: I was familiar with the family, but not in a criminal nature in the 20 years I have worked here

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:17 pm

Sheriff: I’m a member of that community, it’s very emotional to find out that 8 people in your community are murdered 

Kaily Cunningham April 24, 20165:19 pm

DeWine: We did find marijuana grow operations at 3 of the crime scenes