Three years ago Monday, tragedy struck Appalachian Ohio.
On April 22, 2016, eight members of the Rhoden family were found shot to death in four separate homes in rural Pike County. Three children — an infant, a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old — were found alive and physically unharmed among the bodies.
For more than two and a half years, the case remained unsolved. Then, this past November, Angela and George "Billy" Wagner III and their two adult sons were arrested and charged with aggravated murder. Two other Wagner relatives were arrested and charged with ancillary crimes related to the homicides.
As the anniversary approaches, here's a recap and a look at where things stand today:
Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; his ex-wife Dana Rhoden, 47; their children, Hanna Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, and Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Frankie Rhoden’s fiancée, Hannah Gilley, 20; Christopher Sr.’s brother Kenneth Rhoden, 44, and cousin Gary Rhoden, 38.
The crime scenes
Chris and Gary were found in Chris's trailer on Union Hill Road. They were the only two not shot while in their beds, and authorities have said the killers dragged their bodies through the house. Chris had been shot at least once through a door, scene evidence and wood fragments on his body found during an autopsy showed. He also had been shot more than any other victim: nine times.
Frankie and Hannah were found dead in their beds in the trailer next door. Frankie's 3-year-old son from a previous relationship was found unharmed in the living room — with cartoons playing on the television — when Dana's sister discovered the bodies just before 8 a.m.
Dana and Hanna and Chris Jr. were found in a trailer they'd recently moved to about a mile up Union Hill Road. Home from the hospital less than 48 hours after giving birth, Hanna had her infant daughter by her side.
Kenneth's body was the last discovered, several hours later. He was dead in the bed of his remote camper about a 15-minute car ride away.
Hanna and Edward "Jake" Wagner had a 3-year-old daughter together, Sophia. She was staying with Jake on the night of the killings. About a year after the homicides, Angela and Billy Wagner and Jake and his brother George IV moved to Kenai, Alaska, a place where they later told the Cincinnati Enquirer they had hunted and fished before. They said they wanted to get Sophia away from the spotlight and the stress of the case. A year later, the family returned to Pike County.
Billy, Angela, Jake and George IV are all charged with eight counts of aggravated murder, which carry a possible death penalty if convicted, and more than a dozen other charges that include aggravated burglary; tampering with evidence; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; unauthorized use of property; interception of communications; conspiracy; and unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance.
Billy's mother, Fredericka Wagner, is charged with perjury and obstructing justice. She's accused of lying to a grand jury about the purchase of two bulletproof vests. Rita Newcomb, Angelas's mother, is charged with forging custody documents for Jake and Hanna's case, as well as for George VI's custody case.
Authorities have said obsession to control and obsession with custody of children was at the root of the killings.
The evidence delivery
At each defendant's hearing, prosecutors have said they are turning over evidence as quickly as they can. That includes multiple hard drives of information; social media screenshots; a Walmart receipt; more than 1,400 crime-scene photos; and cell phone records.
All six charged have pleaded not guilty. Fredericka Wagner's trial is set to begin July 29, and Rita Newcomb's is set to begin July 8. It will likely be years before the death penalty eligible cases go to trial.