Pike County Sheriff says he doesn't want to see a victim number 9 after Rhoden massacre

Pike County sheriff Charles Reader said his office is still investigating the massacre of eight members of the Rhoden family. (WSYX/WTTE)

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said he doesn't want more bloodshed after 8 people were killed there April 22nd. Reader was elected for the first time last week with 76 % of the vote. He was appointed to sheriff in May 2015 in a county with a $1.6 million budget and 36 employees.

Reader had been a PCSO detective, road deputy and Waverly police officer, as well as an investigator for prosecutor Rob Junk.

"It is a matter of gaining the public trust and letting them know you are there for them," said Reader. The sheriff said some people asked him after the Rhoden-Gilley homicides if he would want to give up and he said he can't think of anywhere he would rather be than to serve the county where he has lived all his life and cares about the people.

But seven months after the massacre on Union Hill, Reader said he is convinced people in the area have more information, but they are very scared. We asked if Reader thinks the killers are coming back--"God I hope not, if what I feel in my heart is true, they have never left."

Reader said he thinks the killers are from the local area. "Someone had to be intimately involved with the family,locally knew them, knew their routine.


For killers to do what they did, and crime scenes where children were saved, they had enough compassion," said Reader. But he thinks that figuring out why the kids were not murdered could provide insight as to what was behind the killing.

The sheriff said some people with information may have lied to investigators in the initial stages of the investigation to protect themselves from prosecution. "We are trying to find the killers and I am asking anyone to come in and tell us the truth , if I find you are not telling the truth I have ordered your arrest."

Reader said more evidence is coming in from B C I's lab and tips continue to come in. But he thinks some people are afraid to come forward.

"They may be scared of incriminating themselves and won't come talk to us or they are scared of being victim number 9 --and if you are scared to being victim number nine you know enough you need to come see us.""

The sheriff said they have one chance to try the case so he is being very careful. He won't go into specifics about what they are learning in the investigation but said he is confident they will solve the case and get justice. "We are coming, it may not be today, may not tomorrow, but we are gonna get there, but we are going to come and Justice will be served."

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