POMEROY — Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood was recognized earlier this week with the Distinguished Service Award from the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.
Wood was nominated for the honor by Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader for Wood’s work in Pike County following the murder of eight members of the Rhoden family in April 2016.
Wood and others, including a chief deputy from Warren County, were recognized for their assistance in the early part of the investigation into the shootings.
The Meigs County Sheriff spent four weeks in Pike County, being down there beginning on the first day to offer his assistance.
One of the major roles for Wood was with the scheduling of over 700 officers from around 70 counties who assisted in Pike County during the early weeks of the investigation. Wood explained that a command post was brought in from Butler County and that is where he spent four weeks working. From that location the visiting deputies were sworn in as Pike County deputies. Wood also made calls to others who would help to arrange for officers to come to Pike County to help with the case or to cover shifts as needed.
Wood explained that they wanted one contact person to handle the scheduling so that was the role he filled. Additionally, deputies from Meigs County went to Pike County to provide manpower as they were available.
Wood said he was honored to receive the award.
“It was an unfortunate incident, but everyone came together,” said Wood of the efforts of law enforcement following the shootings.
Wood was presented the award when at the organization conference earlier this week in Sandusky.
The murders of 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his 16-year-old son, Christopher Rhoden Jr.; 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; 38-year-old Gary Rhoden; 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden; 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; and 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden, remain unsolved and under investigation.
Three children in the residences at the time were unharmed.
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