Leonard Manley’s daughter, 37-year-old Dana Rhoden, was one of eight members of the Rhoden family who were found murdered “execution-style” in their Pike County, Ohio, homes early Friday, shocking small-town, rural Pennsylvanians and leaving more questions than answers.
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The 64-year-old Manley, who has spoken to multiple publications, thinks that a road rage incident from a month ago could have something to do with the murders.
He told the Daily Mail his grandson Christopher, 16, was involved in an incident last month in which he was “slapped by a woman.” His mother tried to get the 40-year-old woman brought up on assault charges. The case went to court, but Manley claimed the charges were dropped without explanation.
“I asked the sheriff’s department about the incident that happened a month ago about my grandson when a 40-year-old woman hit him in the face,” he said. “He had bruising all down his face.”
Manley would add that threats were made against Dana and Christopher Rhoden afterwards, and that the threats were recorded on a cellphone and made available to investigators.
His youngest daughter, Bobby Jo Manley, 36, was the one who found Dana Rhoden dead early Friday when she went to feed the family’s dogs and chickens.
Of her daughter and and grandson’s killers, Manley said “If they can live with it, I can too. But it’s going to be on their conscience for the rest of their lives… It’s going to be on my conscience for the rest of my life.”
Speaking to USA Today, Manley sighed, “Look, we are just hillbillies. We ain’t got no revenge in our hearts.”
Police are also looking into two other possibilities. First, there is the question of whether this was drug-related. Marijuana growing operations were discovered at multiple crime scenes.
Rhoden family members also put forward the idea that the murders could have spawned from jealousy over a demolition derby car.
At this point, however, the investigation is ongoing, and there is much more to be learned about what happened last week in Pike County, Ohio.