Nearly two years after eight of his relatives were killed in a massacre in southern Ohio, a little boy who survived the horror still has nightmares, his mother said in a recent interview.
On April 22, 2016, seven adults and one teenage boy — all members of the Rhoden family — were fatally shot in four separate properties in rural Piketon, Ohio.
Three of those properties contained marijuana-growing operations, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at the time described the killings as a “preplanned execution” and a “sophisticated operation.”
Despite the largest and most complex homicide investigation in the state’s history, however, the deaths remain unsolved.
Brentley Rhoden, then 3, was found unharmed in a separate room of a home in which two of his relatives were fatally shot, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Brentley’s mom, Chelsea Robinson, says the boy continues to have nightmares about the terror.
“The fear has him,” Robinson told the Enquirer. “He’s trapped behind it.”
Robinson said she no longer talks about the killings with her son after they triggered a recent nightmare. She added that Brentley won’t leave one room for another unless she is in the room he’s going to.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Following the family’s mass slaying, Robinson and Brentley moved to a neighborhood near Robinson’s relatives, which she reportedly said has provided a sense of comfort and normalcy.
She goes to a support group and said her son sees a professional every two weeks, enabling them to process the trauma, according to the Enquirer. “Everything was building up on us,” she said. “Just getting it out there helps.”
Brentley, a pre-Kindergarten student, has blond hair and a pet Guinea pig named Stinker and he is making friends at school, his mom told the paper.
The two slain relatives in the home with Brentley were his father, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, and Clarence’s 20-year-old fianceé, Hannah Gilley.
The other fatal victims were Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; Dana Rhoden, 37; Hanna Rhoden, 19; Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; Gary Rhoden, 38; and 44-year-oldKenneth Rhoden.
The victims were shot execution-style and all but one had been shot multiple times and showed signs of bruising, the Hamilton County Coroner said in a report previously obtained by PEOPLE.
PEOPLE’s inquiries to DeWine’s office about the status of the investigation were not immediately answered on Thursday.
In a statement posted Tuesday to Facebook, Pike County Sheriff Charles S. Reader announced he will not be doing any interviews or taking any questions on the case, but said, “I remain very confident in the investigative staff.”