Suspects accused of murdering Rhoden family in Ohio arrested, including one in Lexington

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The suspects accused of murdering eight family members in Ohio in 2016 are now in police custody, and one was arrested in Lexington.

Photo: Lexington Police

The one arrested in Lexington was 47-year-old George "Billy" Wagner III.

“Our patrol officers assisted the FBI and he was located and taken into custody without incident,” Lexington police spokesperson Brenna Angel said to our reporting partners at the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Police pulled over Wagner in a horse trailer. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was involved in the arrest. Pike County, Ohio authorities say investigators were following him when the arrest was made.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirms four people accused of murdering eight in Pike County, Ohio were arrested Tuesday.

DeWine announced the four arrested were George "Billy" Wagner III, Angela Wagner, George Wagner IV and Edward "Jake" Wagner. The Wagners had moved to Alaska. It is unknown at this time why George "Billy" Wagner was in Lexington. Angela Wagner was arrested at her home in Scioto County, Ohio while their sons were arrested during a traffic stop in Ross County, Ohio.

Sister station KTUU reported in 2016 the family moved to Kenai, which is southwest of Anchorage. Ohio detectives spend a large amount of time in Alaska during the investigation.

The four are accused of killing seven members of the Rhoden family and the fiancee of one of the members.

The victims are Christopher Rhoden Sr., his ex-wife Dana Manley Rhoden, and their three children Hanna May, Christopher Jr. and Clarence "Frankie." Frankie's fiancee Hannah "Hazel" Gilley was also killed along with the elder Christopher Rhoden's brother Kenneth and cousin Gary.

DeWine said the Wagners meticulously planned the murders, and the custody of one child may have played a role. All four are eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors say the legal process will be lengthy and an indictment is only the beginning of the case.

Jake Wagner was is the father of Hannah Rhoden's daughter. Social services is handling the custody of the daughter.

This is considered one of the longest, most complex and labor-intensive investigations in the history of the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Detectives tested more than 700 items of evidence. The Last evidence was examined Oct. 30.

The four are also charged with conspiracy, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence, unlawful possession of dangerous ordinance, obstruction of justice and forgery among other charges.

Also arrested was Angela Wagner's mother Rita Newcomb and George "Billy" Wagner III's mother Frederica Wagner in conjunction with the cover-up. DeWine said investigators have no other suspects.

Wagner III is expected to appear in court Wednesday morning.

Suspects George and Edward "Jake" Wagner

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