Six of the eight members of the family shot to death in rural Ohio were laid to rest on Tuesday as authorities continue to search for a suspect and motive in the brutal slayings. Family and friends gathered to celebrate their lives after the service and shared stories about their loved ones.
Christopher Don Rhoden, 40; Dana Rhoden, 37; Clarence Rhoden, 20; Hanna Rhoden, 19; Kenneth Rhoden, 44; and Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, were honored Tuesday afternoon at Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth, according to an online obituary.
The six victims, along with Hannah Gilley, 20, and Gary Rhoden, 38, were found dead in four separate Pike County houses on April 22, according to authorities. All of the victims died from gunshot wounds; many were shot multiple times, according to autopsy reports.
The funeral was standing room only, David Dickerson with the Pike County Prosecutor's Office said after the service. He added that the mood inside the church was "very somber."
"It was the most emotional thing I've ever experienced in my life," Dickerson said. He said that the Rhoden family, who are "very tight," sent their thanks to the public for its thoughts and prayers over the last 11 days, which have been "beyond devastation."
As family gathered after the funeral services, photos of the victims were on display. Dana Rhoden's father, Leonard Manley, shared memories of his daughter. "If you were around Dana, life was a joy," he said.
While authorities have yet to determine a motive and make an arrest in the case, they have said that the killings were "pre-planned," and that marijuana "grow operations" were found at some of crime scenes. They have warned surviving members of the family to arm themselves since the killer is still on the loose.
Dan Tierney, a spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, told NBC News that local law enforcement provided security for the funeral. He would not comment on specific safety measures.
Gilley was laid to rest in Otway, Ohio, on Saturday, according to an online obituary. Gary Rhoden was buried in South Shore, Kentucky, on Saturday.
DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said Monday that investigators were still working to find a suspect and had received more than 450 tips and processed more than 100 pieces of evidence pertaining to the investigation. At least 128 people have been interviewed in the hunt for the killer or killers, Reader and DeWine said.