The Latest: Businessman withdraws reward in Ohio shootings

PIKETON, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the developments in the killings of eight family members in southern Ohio (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

A Cincinnati-area businessman says he is withdrawing a $25,000 reward that he had offered in the slayings of eight family members in rural southern Ohio.

Restaurateur Jeff Ruby said on his Twitter page Thursday that he is withdrawing the reward because of “recent complex criminal developments” in the case of the Rhoden family. Seven adults and a teenage boy were found fatally shot last Friday at four homes near Piketon, roughly 80 miles east of Cincinnati.

A message left with Ruby’s spokeswoman on Thursday wasn’t immediately returned. Ruby told The Cincinnati Enquirer his advisers have asked him not to talk publicly about his decision.

No arrests have been made, and officials have not said if they have any suspects in mind.

Marijuana growing operations were found at three of the homes, but authorities haven’t released any details about a motive.


2 p.m.

Nearly a week after eight family members were found shot to death at four homes in rural Ohio, investigators have announced no arrests, no motive and few details beyond saying it was a meticulously planned “execution.”

But the discovery of marijuana-growing operations at some of the crime scenes has given the case a new, more sinister cast.

Relatives of the victims say they were surprised by the marijuana. Some neighbors say they had heard rumors. And some say the pot-growing was a case of courting trouble.

Large marijuana operations are common in Ohio’s Pike County, the scene of the killings, and there have been some big seizures of pot plants there.

About one-fifth of Pike County’s 28,000 people live in poverty, and the area has some of Ohio’s high rates of unemployment and drug-overdose deaths.

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