Eight members of the Rhoden family were shot in the head "execution style" as they slept in their homes in a rural town in southern Ohio, authorities said Friday.
Seven adults and a 16-year-old were found shot dead at four crime scenes located a short distance from each other, in a massacre that took place in Piketon, a town of around 2,000 located 90 miles east of Cincinnati.
Police are hunting after the murderer or murderers who remain at large and are thought to be a danger for the remaining members of the family, said Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader.
"We have a specific family that's been targeted but I don't think there's been a threat to any other members of the community. I've given the family precautionary measures to make. They know we're available," said Reader.
The survivors of the shootings included a four-day-old child found lying beside its murdered mother, as well as a six-month-old and a three-year-old, revealed Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
No motive has been announced yet, although as noted all the victims were members of the same Rhoden family.
"We're advising family members to be very careful and take particular caution. This is a matter of public safety, especially for the Rhoden family," said DeWine.
Describing the massacre, he added, "it would appear all of them were shot in the head. It would appear it occurred at night. …The mother was killed in bed with the 4-day-old right there."
He clarified that the deaths were not suicides.
"The Rhoden family was targeted and we've talked to the family and expressed our concern. The sheriff's office will work with them for protection."