Columbus — If you know anything about those awful killings that took place down in Pike County earlier this year, it would be in your best interest to step forward and share those details with law enforcement, post haste.
So says Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine, who isn’t mincing words when it comes to the crime and people hiding information from the police.
“… There are some people out there who have more information or who have not been totally candid with us,” DeWine told reporters a few days back. “My message today to you is that it’s going to be much better for you to voluntarily come forward and tell us the truth — and tell us the whole truth — than have to wait for us to go grab you and bring you in and talk with you.”
That’s good advice for anyone with knowledge of a crime, but more so in the grisly case out of southern Ohio — eight people killed, execution style, all members of the same family, at four different locations, likely by someone they knew, with little publicly disclosed as of yet that points to any particular culprit or culprits.
Add to that evidence of marijuana and cockfighting at the crime scenes, kids left behind who remain in danger, dozens of people interviewed and search warrants executed and we’re left with a mystery that sounds like the plot of a movie.
The county sheriff’s office and the attorney general’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation have had agents working on the case since late April, when the bodies were discovered.
It’s an ongoing investigation, so officials remain very tight-lipped about what they’ve found. News groups have filed suit to get copies of the autopsy reports in the case, which the attorney general’s office recently released after heavily redacting some of the information the paperwork contains.
DeWine, a former prosecutor, said it’s difficult enough to solve cases that involve single dead bodies and no witnesses.
“In this case we had eight bodies with no witnesses,” he said. “… It certainly complicates things… I still believe that we are going to solve this case.”
He added, “We knew all along that this could take awhile. I will tell you that I know a lot more about Pike County today than I did when we started. I know a lot more about some of the criminal activity that’s going on in Pike County than I did when we started. We have some leads, but I’m not going to go any further.”
In the meantime, DeWine is urging anyone with any information about the case to come clean now.
“You can call it a warning, you can call it just stating the facts,” DeWine said. “But if I knew something about what happened in that murder and I had not told the police, now would be a really good time to come forward and do it. It’s going to be much better for you if you come forward with that information than if you wait until we get some tip, other information, and then we go after you and bring in and then talk to you.”
Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.