- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said that investigators found evidence typical of an illegal cockfighting operation at one of the four homes where authorities discovered the bodies of eight family members on Friday who were killed as the result of execution-style shootings.

Mr. DeWine, speaking Monday with radio host Bill Cunningham, said authorities found cages at one of the crime scenes, each containing a single chicken.

Explaining further during an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer later in the day, Mr. DeWine said the way in which the birds were isolated  is “consistent with” cockfighting, a practice illegal throughout the United States.

“The one thing I saw were chickens out there. These would be cockfighting chickens,” he said.

Additionally, the attorney general said his wife, Fran, saw aerial footage of the scene and identified the types of coops as the same used for fighting chickens.

Mr. DeWine confirmed in an email Tuesday that cockfighting chickens, cages and indications of a breeding operation were found by officials who searched a home in Appalachian-Pike County east of Cincinnati while investigating last week’s slayings, Reuters reported.

Eight members of the Rhoden family were found shot to death at four homes in rural Ohio Friday. Police have since investigated more than 60 people while searching for leads, but have yet to announce any arrests, CBS News reported.

Authorities previously said three of the crime scenes contained evidence suggesting those properties were used for a commercial-scale marijuana cultivation operation.

“In other words, this is not a plant in a window or six or seven plants out in the back yard, in the garden, or something. They were doing this to sell,” Mr. DeWine said Monday. “We don’t know whether it is relevant or not, but at this point everything is relevant.”

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