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Ohio authorities not seeking specific location of Wagner family, rather about interactions

Outline of Ohio
Outline of Ohio(KTUU)
Published: Jun. 21, 2017 at 2:33 PM AKDT
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Attorney General Mike DeWine of Ohio said Wednesday authorities were not asking Alaskans to tell them where the Wagners live, but are asking for people in the state of Ohio to give them information they've requested.

"We don't want anyone thinking that they should be calling the local police to report where these individuals are," DeWine said.

The attorney general's office recently issued a public request seeking information about George "Billy Wagner, III, 46, Angela Wagner, 46, George Wagner IV, 25, and Edward "Jake" Wagner, 24 who are reportedly living in the Kenai area of Alaska.

DeWine's office said the request was part of an investigation into the execution-style killings of eight members of the Rhoden family in Pike County last April.

When asked if the Wagner family was previously questioned and whether they were cooperative, DeWine said he would not comment.

"There has been some conversations with them, what I can't tell you is how often that has occurred," DeWine said.

The Wagners are not being called suspects or persons of interest, DeWine said.

"I can assure you, it's not something we just made up, it was a decision that we made after a lot of thought, we rely a lot on information from the public," DeWine said. "...these were eight people killed in a very rural part of the state of Ohio with no witnesses and these are cases that are very tough and we've been putting together evidence that's sort of like a thousand piece puzzle."

DeWine said he didn't know if it's unusual or not to seek information about someone who is not currently a suspect, person of interest and has no outstanding warrants.

"I don't know if it's unusual or not, I mean you do what you need to do in an investigation and you ask the public's help," DeWine said. "It's not everyday that we wake up and we find 8 bodies in one small county in four different residences, people of all the same family and most of whom were killed execution-style so there's nothing about this investigation that has been normal."

Brad Conklin told Channel 2 on Tuesday he'd seen the Wagners the day before and told them to be aware of bears in the area.

On Wednesday, Conklin said things had been quiet in the neighborhood and he hadn't seen the Wagners.