Community reacts to news of arrests in Rhoden massacre case

Local News

Two and a half years after seven members of the Rhoden family and the fiancé of one of the victims were found murdered in their homes, much of the Pike County community is feeling a sense of relief.

On Tuesday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader and Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk announced the arrests of four individuals for the murders.

News of the arrests quickly spread throughout the rural county, about 60 miles south of Columbus.

“It’s huge,” said Nathan Bloss, of Waverly. “We can move on in a way. 

Samantha Tschudy, of Piketon, said she was best friends with the youngest victim, Chris Rhoden, Jr.

Within hours of the arrests, she recalled the day she learned her friend was killed.

“I kept calling his phone and texting it, like I just didn’t want to believe it, but I finally had to and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” she said.

Tschudy, 17, met news of the arrests with mixed emotions.

“It was hard hearing it, but it was a relief at the same time to finally know they finally got someone,” she said. “They [the victims] are able to rest finally in peace, but there’s still the fact that they’re still gone. It just kind of brought it all up again.”

Tschudy’s father echoed his daughter’s thoughts.

“It’s sort of a relief for the community, but I still feel bad for the family that they’ve had to wait this long to get some resolution to everything,” said Dennis Tschudy. 

George “Billy” Wagner III, Angela Wagner, George Wagner IV and Edward “Jake” Wagner, all of South Webster, Ohio, face multiple charges in this case.

All are expected to face a Pike County judge in the days to come.

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