Witness charged with tampering with evidence in Pike County murders

PIKETON, Ohio– A man is facing charges in connection with the Pike County murder investigation.

Eight members of the Rhoden family were found dead on April 22, 2016 near Piketon, Ohio. One of the victims was a 16-year-old boy, but three young children were unharmed during the execution-style killings.

James Manley, 40, of Pike County, was charged with tampering with evidence and vandalism in the case. According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Manley destroyed a GPS device used in the investigation.

“The charges Manley faces are not uncommon when a witness destroys such a device used in a government investigation,” the attorney general’s office said in a news release on Tuesday.

No arrests have been made and no suspects identified in the murders. The bodies were found in four properties on Union Hill Road owned by Christopher Rhoden Sr., who was among the victims. Investigators also discovered hundreds of illegal marijuana plants.

During a news conference on the case last month, Attorney General Mike DeWine said he believed fear was prevented people from coming forward with tips. Potential witnesses may be afraid of retaliation from the killer or incriminating themselves for drug activity.

Anyone with information on the Pike County murders is asked to call the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO. Reward money is available for information leading to an arrest and successful prosecution.

Continuing coverage of the Pike County murders here