Trailer seized in search for killer of 8 Ohio family members

Amos Gonzales
May 17, 2017

Until Tuesday, the investigation - the largest in OH history - had not led to any arrests.

Dead were 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden, his brother Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, and Christopher's ex-wife Dana Rhoden, 37.

They were found shot at four homes near Piketon, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Columbus. No one has been charged or arrested for the deaths.

According to a statement from the Ohio Attorney General's office, Manley is accused of destroying a Global Positioning System 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.

According to court documents, the device was placed on a red pickup truck owned by Manley by court order.

"James Thomas Manley did unlawfully, on or about the 28th day of April, 2017, at the County of Pike and State of OH, knowing that an official proceeding or investigation is in progress, or is about to be or likely to be instituted, alter, destroy, conceal, or remove any record, document or thing with objective to impair its value or availability as evidence in such proceeding or investigation, in violation of Section 2921".

Agents went to Manley's home on Monday to give notice of court order concerning the Global Positioning System unit, officials said. His daughter, Bobby Jo, also submitted to two polygraph tests, both of which she passed, Leonard Manley told the paper.

The GPS was worth $315, the agent said.

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Martin Pinales, a WCPO legal expert, said the charges may depend on how badly Manley damaged the device, if at all.

Police found a 4-day-old baby next to his mother, who was one of the victims. "You can't destroy it. But certainly, I don't think it is an obstruction".

"So they (investigators) put that on without him (Manley) knowing?"

The search warrant never names Manley as a suspect, nor does it state that it is tied to the Rhoden homicide investigation.

The trailer after police searched a property belonging to Wagner's sometime boss.

A report Saturday that the Franklin County Sheriff's SWAT team was searching for possible murder suspects was a false alarm: Sheriff's spokesperson Marc Gofstein said he made a mistake when he told media outlets that the SWAT team searched a property but did not find anyone. And he didn't confirm if any evidence was found. It was not the same truck officials towed from crime scenes and kept during the first weeks of the investigation.

Whatever significance the trailer might have hasn't been publicly disclosed.

"The next time they want to come to my place, I'm going to run them off", Leonard Manley said.

"Maybe not in my lifetime unless they find something very bad good down there", he said.

Other reports by BadHub

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