Pike County officials: Rhoden cousin was shot, unclear if foul play

Rhoden cousin found dead in Pike County

PIKE COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Another Rhoden family member is dead, more than two years after eight of them were found shot to death in what is the state's most complex homicide investigation to date.

Violet Taylor, 35, a cousin to the Rhodens, was found shot in a wooded area Monday near Lapperell and Stewart Hollow Road, according to the Pike County Sheriff's Office.

It's unclear if foul play is involve, they said.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is taking over the case.

Investigators are not saying whether her death is connected to the Rhoden family murders.

An autopsy is set to take place in Montgomery County, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.

A GoFundMe page for Taylor's family is making the rounds online.

It describes her as a "very loving person" and says she loved her son and her family and was a "beautiful person inside and out."

FOX19 reached out to some of Taylor's relatives to find out more about her and the impact she made on them, but we have not heard back.

Officials are not releasing new details on the Rhoden case beyond saying it remains active.

The victims are: Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, Clarence "Frankie" Rhoden, 20, Dana Rhoden, 37, Gary Rhoden, 38, Hanna Rhoden, 19, Hannah Gilley, 20, Kenneth Rhoden, 44.

A toddler and two babies were left unharmed: A 3-year-old, a 4-day-old found in bed next to her mother, Hanna Rhoden, and a 6-month-old.

Law enforcement officials have described the slayings as sophisticated, pre-planned executions.

Authorities suspect there were multiple attackers who were familiar with the victims' homes and the surrounding area.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office has said Christopher Rhoden Sr. had "a large-scale marijuana growing operation," leading some to speculate the killings were drug-related.

The victims were gunned down in the overnight hours April 21-22, 2016 while most of them slept.

All were shot to death and most of the victims, six, were shot three times or more.

One victim was shot nine times. Some also showed signs of soft tissue bruising.

The motive in the attacks remains a mystery, and no suspects have been identified.

In June, however, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader asked the public for information on the Wagner family, four Peebles residents who relocated to Alaska just the week before.

It remains unclear what prompted law enforcement to seek them out.

Investigators said they were interested in any information the public may have on those individuals including business dealings. Specifically, police requested wanting information regarding vehicles, firearms and ammunition.

[Related: Investigators focused on family of 4 in unsolved Rhoden family killings]

It wasn't the first time their names have been connected to this investigation.

Edward "Jake" Wagner, 24, was Hanna Rhoden's boyfriend at one point.

The two had a daughter together, who is now in Jake's custody.

Some of the Wagner's property in Pike County was searched for evidence nearly a year ago, in May.

No arrests were made.

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