Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by raine1953 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:54 pm

On WS there is a live feed and it appears that it's a or the crime scene, recover or search team concentrating UP in trees in the middle of the woods. OMG, this is getting worse.

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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by raine1953 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:57 pm

Here's a link to the live presser starting in a minute -

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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by mommyof3kids on Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:14 pm

I am still trying to read up on this case, but so far I am not finding what connection these two women had with this man?
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by Praying For Faith on Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:41 pm

I am not so sure that there was a connection. His parents lived close to these two women and the 2 children. I think I am right.

Sick people!!!

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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by raine1953 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:43 pm

presser delayed but they are not saying for how long. I'm just keeping it up.
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by mommyof3kids on Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:04 pm

This guy is whacked! To just randomly kill these people and I can't help but think of why he didn't kill the young girl, sick perv huge waste I hope she didn't endure to much pain from this SOB!!
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by raine1953 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:22 pm

I just wonder if this sicko was going to 'keep her' for himself and that is why she's alive. OMG, that poor girl and what she might have seen and endured.
For this guy to murder that little boy and two women that he didn't know just makes me sick.
The live feed was showing three hearses leaving the crime scene, omg how sad...
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by Turtle on Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:35 pm

Although I can't seem to find a link, our local news has reported that three bodies have been found. ID pending.
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by mommyof3kids on Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:45 pm

The only known connection between Hoffman and Maynard and her family is that Hoffman's parents live within walking distance of Maynard's mother's home.

WTF
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by Praying For Faith on Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:37 pm

raine1953 wrote:I just wonder if this sicko was going to 'keep her' for himself and that is why she's alive. OMG, that poor girl and what she might have seen and endured.
For this guy to murder that little boy and two women that he didn't know just makes me sick.
The live feed was showing three hearses leaving the crime scene, omg how sad...

raine1953,

I agree with you. That is exactly what I thought.

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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by TerryRose on Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:43 pm

The title of this thread must now be changed, the mother, her son, and her friend have been confirmed deceased. The suspect gave the information where LE would find the bodies. They were found exactly as he had said, in trash bags, in a hollow tree in the wooded area.
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by Nama on Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:28 pm

crying So sad to have to change the title of the thread. Thanks for the update TR.

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Post by Nama on Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:31 pm

The bodies of an Ohio woman, her young son and a family friend have been discovered by police, wrapped in garbage bags and stuffed in a hollow tree, authorities said today.

WATCH: The Nightmare of Being Kidnapped
Knox County Sheriff David Barber said they were told where to find the victims by lawyers for Matthew Hoffman, who is in custody for kidnapping 13-year-old Sarah Maynard.

The victims included Sarah's motherTina Herrmann, 32, her younger brother Kody Maynard, 10, and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41.

"The discovery of these bodies was the result of information provided by Matthew Hoffman," Barber said. "We were optimistic a few days ago that there was a remote chance these persons were still alive. This is is a homicide investigation now."

Authorities said they had been contacted by Hoffman's lawyer, but would not characterize the information as a confession. The county prosecutor would not say whether officials had cut a deal to encourage him to talk.

Barber said there were no other suspects involved and would not speculate on a motive.

The bodies were found near Apple Valley, Ohio, miles away from Hoffman's home where Sarah was found on Sunday by a SWAT team. The girl was bound and gagged in Hoffman's basement in rural Mount Vernon, Ohio.


Barber said he believed the victims were killed in their blood splattered house in Howard, Ohio, about 10 miles where Hoffman lived. The sheriff said Sarah was also at house at the time, but wouldn't say whether she witnessed the killings. The sheriff would not comment on the type of weapon used in the murder.

Hoffman is a 31-year-old drifter who had recently been released from a Colorado prison after serving a term for arson and burglary.

Hoffman has been in police custody since Sunday, but previously has not cooperated with investigators.

Barber said police had to cut into the tree to remove the three bodies. He said the victims were all wearing the same clothes they had last been seen in on Nov. 10. Barber suggested that Hoffman had hollowed out the tree himself saying, "Hoffman has worked as tree trimmer."

Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher said Hoffman would likely be brought up on addtional charges, but could not specify what they would be.

"I can't speculate on what those charges might be without knowing what the evidence is," said Thatcher.

Hoffman is scheduled for to appear in court again Tuesday.

Both Barber and Hoffman appeared emotional at times, calling the case one of the worst they had ever encountered.

"The tragedy today is just devastating," said Thatcher. "The results aren't what we wanted them to be."

Rescued Girl Sarah Maynard Now With Father
Police immediately focused the search for Sarah's family members near Hoffman's home, honing in on a park a short walk from the house where he kept the girl confined.

Hoffman was arrested Sunday and charged with kidnapping. Police say he has been placed on suicide watch and has not been cooperating with their investigation. He appeared in court Tuesday wearing an anti-suicide gown and his bail was set at $1 million.

Police said Sarah was in good health, staying with her father and cooperating with the investigation.


All four people were last seen Nov. 10 at the family home in Howard, Ohio, about 10 miles from Hoffman's house in Mount Vernon. Police were initially called to the family's home when Herrmann did not show up to work at a local Dairy Queen. When police searched the home they found it splattered with blood.

Early on in the investigation, Police temporarily locked down nearby Kenyon College when Hermmann's pickup truck was found parked on the campus one day after cops had observed it in the family's driveway.

Police said they believe Hoffman played a role in the family's disappearance, saying they were not "under their own power" when they were taken from their home.

Since finding Sarah alive Sunday, police have warned the other family members may have been killed.

The only known connection between Hoffman and Maynard and her family is that Hoffman's parents live within walking distance of Maynard's mother's home.

Sarah Maynard and Family Disappeared Last Week
"At this time, whether he's connected to the family or whether he connected himself to the family… a lot of that remains to be seen," Sheriff David Barber said earlier in the week.


Neighbors described Hoffman's behavior as "bizarre," saying they would see him climbing trees, spying on them from the boughs, building fires on his front lawn and killing small animals.

"He was killing the squirrels because he doesn't grocery shop," neighbor Kara Fowler told ABC News. "He would actually kill the squirrels and eat them."

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Normal Ohio Police Find Bodies of Trio Stuffed in Hollowed Out Tree

Post by Nama on Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:32 pm

]

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Post by Nama on Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:08 pm


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Post by TerryRose on Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:29 pm

Watching LE on TV and hearing of the involvement of so many agencies called in to the search for these victims, and also that they were persistent enough to find the girl and thus saving her life, I have nothing but praise for the LE of Knox County, OH and the people there who did whatever they could to help.

I am feeling so sad for this family, especially Sarah, what she must be going through---it will take a long time for her to feel better, but she will probably never get over it of course.

Rest in peace dear Kody, "Mom" Tina, and Stephanie. I pray that you are all together in the presence of God, in sublime happiness and peace. You didn't deserve to have your lives cut short like this. crying
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by Guest on Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:19 pm

I agree with you, TerryRose! How on earth LE was able to determine that this "monster" was responsible for the disappearance of these four people... then to track him down & rescue the young girl is truly amazing! However, it is tragic that they weren't able to save the other three, who were most likely murdered last Wednesday.

I am glad that he cooperated with LE by letting them know where the bodies were, but unfortunately, he probably got a plea deal! If he manages to escape the DP, I hope that he is at least locked away for the rest of his life!! huge waste
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Normal Hundreds Join Vigil For Slain Women, Boy - Tina Herrmann, Kody Maynard and Stephanie Sprang

Post by Praying For Faith on Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:42 am

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Hundreds Join Vigil For Slain Women, Boy

Friday, November 19, 2010 5:18 AM
Updated: Friday, November 19, 2010 5:46 AM
WBNS-10TV

(There is a single picture of the vigil on their website.)

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — The remains of three people missing in Knox County for more than a week were found Thursday in garbage bags that were hidden inside of a hollow tree.

The discovery of Tina Herrmann, 32; her son, Kody Maynard, 11; and a friend, Stephanie Sprang, 41; was made at about 2:30 p.m. near the North Branch of the Kokosing River Lake, near Waterford Road in Fredericktown, Ohio.

The three were reported missing last week, along with Kody's 13-year-old sister, Sarah Maynard. On Sunday, authorities found Sarah Maynard alive, bound and gagged, inside a Mount Vernon man's basement.

The man, Matthew Hoffman, 30, was arrested and charged with Sarah Maynard's kidnapping after authorities swarmed his Columbus Road home, 10TV News reported.

Knox County Sheriff David Barber said that Hoffman provided information to authorities on Thursday that led them to the bodies. Barber would not speculate on how the bodies were placed in the trees but said Hoffman previously worked as a tree trimmer.

Hoffman's mother told 10TV News on Thursday night that she visited her son in jail for the first time on Wednesday night, and that the visit may have played a part in his decision to reveal the location of the bodies.

She said that her son told her that he was "relieved" when authorities raided his home because "Sarah would be able to go home."

"As elated as we were when Sarah was rescued, the tragedy today is just devastating," said Knox County prosecutor John C. Thatcher.

Neither Thatcher nor Barber would say whether Hoffman confessed to the crime.

Hundreds of people gathered Thursday night in Apple Valley, near the home of Tina Herrman, for a prayer vigil. Organizers said more than 1,000 candles were donated and lit, 10TV's Danielle Elias reported.

A seemingly endless stream of people poured into the area near the shores of Apple Valley Lake.

"I just feel numb," said Morgan Durfee. "I've been crying all day. It's so hard."

Many who attended the vigil were thankful for the outpouring of support from the community.

"Just look around, we're not alone and we've been praying for a week," said Cheryl Cole. "We're not alone."

According to Thatcher, an indictment against Hoffman was being prepared against Hoffman and the case would go to a grand jury.

Hoffman is being held under $1 million bond on the kidnapping charge.


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Post by Praying For Faith on Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:44 am

Rainbow wrote:I agree with you, TerryRose! How on earth LE was able to determine that this "monster" was responsible for the disappearance of these four people... then to track him down & rescue the young girl is truly amazing! However, it is tragic that they weren't able to save the other three, who were most likely murdered last Wednesday.

I am glad that he cooperated with LE by letting them know where the bodies were, but unfortunately, he probably got a plea deal! If he manages to escape the DP, I hope that he is at least locked away for the rest of his life!! huge waste

He will probably claim that he was insane at the time. It sure sounds to me like he was unstable. Somewhere I read that he would sit in a tree and watch and listen to his neighbors conversations. I forget where I read this though.

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Post by Praying For Faith on Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:48 am

I feel so sorry for Sarah Maynard. How will she ever be able to cope with what she has experienced and seen throughout all of this? And just what was he planning to do with her. I can only imagine and this all just makes me so sick to my stomach.

over reaction omg It\\'s Not Fair huge waste angry crying

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Post by Nama on Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:56 am

Sarah would have been in a situation like Jaycee Dugart or Elizabeth Smart if she hadn't been rescued.

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Post by artgal16 on Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:20 pm

I want to know about his background and family.
I hope someone does an indepth on this as I really want to know about how a monster like this operates within his family.
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Normal New Details Released On Discovery Of Bodies

Post by Nama on Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:47 pm



Investigators continued to piece together the case against Matthew Hoffman on Friday as more information was released about where the bodies of two women and a boy were recovered.
The bodies of Tina Herrmann, 32; her son, Kody Maynard, 11; and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41, were found Thursday afternoon in a wooded area of the Kokosing Wildlife Preserve, 10TV's Tino Ramos reported.

The Licking County coroner was performing autopsies on Friday to determine how the three were killed.

Knox County Sheriff David Barber said that investigators went to the site, located near Fredericktown, based on information they received from Hoffman.

Neither Barber nor Knox County prosecutor John C. Thatcher would say whether Hoffman, 30, confessed to the crime.

The bodies were found inside a hollow tree that was nearly one mile into the woods. Investigators said the area is so densely wooded that they believe Hoffman dragged the bodies to the tree.

Detectives believe that Hoffman, an experienced tree trimmer, used harnesses to haul the bodies up to a hole at the top of the tree and dropped them down to the base, Ramos reported.

The bodies were found lodged near the bottom of the tree and investigators had to cut a hole to remove them, Ramos reported.

Herrmann's dog was found stuffed in the tree, 10TV News reported.

Hoffman has not been charged with murder, but was being held on $1 million bond, accused of kidnapping Herrmann's daughter, Sarah Maynard.

Sarah Maynard, 13, was found alive on Sunday, bound and gagged, inside Hoffman's Mount Vernon home.

Hoffman's mother told 10TV News on Thursday that she visited her son in jail for the first time on Wednesday night, and that the visit may have played a part in his decision to reveal the location of the bodies.

She said that her son told her that he was "relieved" when authorities raided his home because "Sarah would be able to go home."

Thatcher said additional charges are expected to be filed in the coming weeks, after autopsies are done and the investigation is complete.

The tree where the bodies were found was cut down on Friday afternoon.

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Normal Victim and suspect have connections to local gym

Post by Nama on Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:51 pm

A local gym could be a missing piece of the puzzle that connects an allegeded murderer and his victims.

“[Matthew Hoffman] purchased a one-year membership in November 2009,” said Body Basics owner Steve Mullins, adding Hoffman made regular visits to the gym through May 2010. Attendance records then show that his visits dropped off through the summer months before routine weekend visits started again in October.

“The only freaky thing is that he would always check in shortly before closing. He would be here maybe only 25 minutes,” said Mullins, in looking at the daily check-in and check-out records.

Body Basics had employed the services of Clean Sweep for routine cleaning services but has not used the company since June.

Mullins said Sprang was a member of this cleaning team.

“Our employees would lock up at night, and then they (Clean Sweep) would have their own key to come in and clean,” said Mullins. “We now have our own in-house cleaning employee who took over this summer. As far as I know, Stephanie hasn’t been in the building since then.”

Mullins did say that members should never have had any contact with cleaning employees during working hours, stating that cleaning services always took place “after hours.”

During Thursday’s press conference, Knox County Sheriff David Barber would not confirm any connections between Hoffman, Sprang, Tina Herrmann or her children, Sarah and Kody Maynard.

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Post by Nama on Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:53 pm

SWAT found the teen girl, Sarah, “over the weekend in the basement of Hoffman’s home in Mount Vernon. Sheriff Barber would not elaborate on her ordeal, but that “she was at home when the killings occurred and doing well, considering the circumstances”.

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Post by Guest on Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:09 pm

artgal16 wrote:I want to know about his background and family.
I hope someone does an indepth on this as I really want to know about how a monster like this operates within his family.

I agree, artgal! Surely his family must have known he was a psychopath & could possibly be a danger to those around him. I also wonder what kind of people they were? Lots of questions need to be answered! thinking
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Post by Guest on Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:12 pm

mommyof3kids wrote:The only known connection between Hoffman and Maynard and her family is that Hoffman's parents live within walking distance of Maynard's mother's home.

I have a suspicion that this creep may have seen Sarah Maynard at some point (when he was visiting his parents), and started to plan this crime after that. If so, it is scary to realize that even though your neighbours may be nice people, they could have psycho relatives visiting them!
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Normal Bazetta woman recalls suspect in central Ohio kidnapping

Post by Nama on Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:21 pm

Alice Morelli says a teenage Matthew J. Hoffman, who lived next door to her until 1997, frequently hung out with buddies in the woods behind his house.

He always appeared to be unhappy and acted strangely, she said. “He was really lost. He was on a bad path,” she said of the boy, then 14 to 16 years old.

Hoffman lived on Westlake Drive on the west side of Mosquito Lake between 1995 and 1997, Morelli said. She recalled he sometimes jumped off of his roof onto a trampoline and frequently stood with an unemotional stare as the Morelli family’s dog barked wildly at him. The Bichon had a particular dislike for the boy.

Authorities say he grew up in Northeast Ohio, began high school while living in the Cortland area and moved to Howard, Ohio, just northeast of Mount Vernon and Columbus, in 1997.

Lakeview school officials say Hoffman was a student there starting when he was in third grade and continued until 1997, when he went to the Mount Vernon area.

After graduating from high school in 1999, he moved to Colorado and worked as a plumber in Steamboat Springs. There, he was convicted of arson and spent about seven years in prison from 2000 to 2007.

His neighbors in Mount Vernon, where he lived in recent years, say Hoffman showed some odd behaviors, such as sitting in a treetop or atop his roof and watching them.

Morelli said Hoffman’s behavior made her very uncomfortable, especially since she and her husband have three daughters who were about 10 to 14 at the time Hoffman lived next door.

“He was not happy, not at peace, just not a good kid,” Morelli said, adding that he didn’t appear to be involved in any school activities.

Morelli said she never had any run-ins with the boy, even though her dog barked at him constantly.

She was aware that Hoffman and his friends frequently spent time in the woods behind the houses, where they had built a fort or tree house. It appeared they did some drinking there because of the alcohol containers the family could see on the ground.

Morelli said she feels really bad for Hoffman’s mother, who seemed like a nice person. Hoffman’s stepfather seemed like a nice person also, but he commented to Morelli that Hoffman’s mother “had a hard time with Matt.”

Bazetta Township police and the Trumbull County sheriff’s office said they have no record of any incidents where Hoffman came to their attention, but Cortland police did arrest Hoffman on July 19, 1997, at Lakeview High School.

A police report says he was charged with criminal trespass after a jogger on the high school track watched Hoffman, then 16, and another boy, then 15, climb onto the school roof at just after midnight.

Police brought the boys down from the roof and asked them what they were doing.

Hoffman wrote in a statement: “Just wanted to see if we could get on roof, not trying to break in. Just hid when we saw police cruisers.”

Hoffman told officers his address was in Howard, Ohio, where he had recently moved. The boys were released to their parents.

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Post by artgal16 on Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:29 pm

Well that does it - I have a Bichon and if their Bichon didnt like him, he must have really gotten a bad vibe!
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Post by Guest on Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:02 pm

BJ in OR wrote:... Morelli said she feels really bad for Hoffman’s mother, who seemed like a nice person. Hoffman’s stepfather seemed like a nice person also, but he commented to Morelli that Hoffman’s mother “had a hard time with Matt.”

Thanks for posting this, BJ! It sounds like he didn't turn into a "monster" overnight - there were lots of warning signs over the years. So, his mother is a "nice person"... makes me wonder what his father was like!
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Post by artgal16 on Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:09 pm

Does he have a real father living I wonder?
The article only states there is a stepfather.
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Post by Guest on Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:56 pm

The Ohio man arrested for kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and suspected in the disappearance of her family raised red flags with neighbors long before he was accused of terrorizing the teen and her family.

He was killing the squirrels because he doesn't grocery shop," neighbor Kara Fowler said of Matthew Hoffman, who was charged with kidnapping after SWAT members found 13-year-old Sarah Maynard tied up in his basement. "He would actually kill the squirrels and eat them."

Other neighbors described Hoffman's behavior as beyond strange -- sitting in his trees, watching his neighbors, trapping small animals in his yard and lighting fires on his lawn.

Hoffman, 31, appeared in court today via a video link. He was wearing a "suicide gown" as a safety precaution.

The suspect did not say anything during his court appearance and his court appointed lawyer did not enter a plea. The judge set bail at $1 million.

The only known connection between Hoffman and Maynard and her family is that Hoffman's parents live within walking distance of Maynard's mother's home.

Though Maynard is safe and in police custody after five days allegedly spent bound and gagged in Hoffman's basement, her mother, Tina Hermann, her 10-year-old brother, Kody, and family friend Stephanie Sprang are still missing.

Hope of finding the other three alive is waning.

"The fact that only one person has been located since last Wednesday, you have to be just realistic," Knox County Sheriff David Barber said. "There's a possibility that these folks are dead."

Sprang's father is praying it doesn't come to that.

"We just have all the hope we can and prayers from everyone," Steven Thompson told "Good Morning America" today.

Like the authorities, Thompson and his family have gone over every possible link between Hoffman, a convicted arsonist, and his daughter -- and come up empty.

"We have thought how that connection was there, and we can't come up with one," he said. "I have never met the guy. I have never even seen his picture until just the other day."

Though Thompson had no inkling that anything was amiss with his daughter before she disappeared, he has since heard from friends that she suspected she might have been followed.

"I've heard from friends that she's had feelings for a while now that somebody was stalking her or watching her," he said.

Though Hoffman has so far been charged only with Maynard's kidnapping, police have been frantically searching for evidence that might tie him to Hermann, her son and Sprang.

After his arrest, authorities pulled two cars from a pond across the street from his house, but the discovery yielded few clues.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/accused-kidnapper-missing-ohio-family-case-raised-flags/story?id=12158770

This article was written before they discovered the bodies, but I thought the highlighted part was interesting. It sounds like he could have been stalking the daughter for quite some time!
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Post by artgal16 on Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:00 pm

Killing and torture of animals and setting fires - the number one sign of really big problems in children.
If the neighbors knew this, didnt his mother and stepfather know about it?
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by laga on Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:07 pm

I think the highlighted part was a statemnt from Stephanie Sprang's father about Stephanie. It seems like his interest was in Sarah and the others were just in the way.

I do wonder how much his family knew about his behavior and the seriousness behind his actions and where it could lead. Would they have know and done something if his kidnapping/keeping of Sarah had not been discovered? Would she have been another Jaycee or Elizabeth? How many
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by Guest on Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:23 pm

Laga, I think you are right! There are so many different names involved, that I'm getting confused!! :scratch:

That would makes sense, then, with BJ's article posted above. Apparently Stephanie Sprang was working at the gym that Matthew was going to - he may have noticed her there & started following her. Then, once he noticed the younger girl, he went after her! But, who really knows with this guy? It's all so disturbing!
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Post by mommyof3kids on Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:28 pm

y Rainbow Today at 2:12 pm

mommyof3kids wrote:
The only known connection between Hoffman and Maynard and her family is that Hoffman's parents live within walking distance of Maynard's mother's home.


I have a suspicion that this creep may have seen Sarah Maynard at some point (when he was visiting his parents), and started to plan this crime after that. If so, it is scary to realize that even though your neighbours may be nice people, they could have psycho relatives visiting them!

SO TRUE Rainbow and SCARY affraid

I just read the details up thread of how he disposed of their remains and I too am wondering if he had planned this and had already hollowed out that tree prior to the abductions. And he killed the little dog and stuffed him in the tree too!! omg
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Normal Slain Ohio woman's boss knew something was wrong

Post by Nama on Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:45 pm

The first indication that something had gone terribly wrong in this tiny town came when a Dairy Queen manager went to check on a friend who didn't show up for work.

The manager, Valerie Haythorn, told The Associated Press on Friday that when she drove by last week, the lights were on at the home where Tina Herrmann lived with her two children. Herrmann's truck was in the driveway, and, thinking all was well, Haythorn kept driving.

When Herrmann missed a second day, Haythorn drove back to the house in Howard — and this time she went inside.

Haythorn said she climbed in the back window because the front door was locked. Once inside, she discovered a significant amount of blood.

"It was enough blood there that I knew there was a problem," she said. "Nobody cut their finger in that house."

Haythorn immediately called authorities. The search for four missing people began in earnest after her Nov. 11 visit.

Three days later, Herrmann's 13-year-old daughter, Sarah Maynard, was found bound and gagged — but alive — in the basement of a home. On Thursday, the search reached a tragic end when authorities found the bodies of Herrmann; her 11-year-old son, Kody Maynard; and her 41-year-old friend, Stephanie Sprang, stuffed into garbage bags and hidden in a hollow tree.

Gary Ludwig, a supervisor with Ohio's Division of Wildlife, said wildlife staff on Friday cut down the tree. He said Knox County authorities wanted to remove it out of respect for the family, and so that it wouldn't become "a sightseeing thing."

Knox County Sheriff David Barber said investigators were led to the bodies by Matthew Hoffman, an unemployed tree-trimmer accused of kidnapping the girl and keeping her for nearly four days in the basement of his home in Mount Vernon, about 10 miles west of Howard.

It was unclear how the three others died — or how someone managed to put their bodies inside the hollow tree. Autopsies were being conducted Friday, and the county coroner said the results were expected Saturday.

Barber said all three were killed in Herrmann's home in Howard, about 40 miles northeast of Columbus, though he did not say how. Hoffman gave investigators information through his attorney that led them to the bodies, which were removed after part of the tree was cut away, Barber said.

The remains were found in a wildlife preserve in Fredericktown, a rural site about a quarter-mile from two churches where an Amish horse-drawn buggy passed after three white hearses had driven away.

Ludwig described the tree as an American beech and about 60 feet tall. Beech tree trunks are typically hollowed out, he said.

Wildlife staff had planned to remove the tree from the preserve, but they needed additional equipment to get it out of the area. "It was such a big tree," Ludwig said. "It couldn't be transported out of there." For now, he said the pieces were in "a big mound" in the preserve.

The grieving process has begun in Mount Vernon, where just about everyone has some small connection to the killings.

Sprang's son Michael Kupiec told WBNS-TV on Friday he has no hatred and is eagerly waiting for investigators to tell his family about what happened to his mother.

"Until we find out more, on if they knew him — if he knew them, we don't really know anything," Kupiec said. "And we're just — we're waiting by authorities to find out all the information that we can. So I have no hate towards anybody."

Haythorn said her friend Herrmann didn't report to work Nov. 10 at 4 p.m.

"I knew then that something was wrong, because that was totally out of character for her," Haythorn said quietly in a booth at the Dairy Queen. "She loved coming to work. She loved the people here. She would not have just blown it off."

Nobody knows why the four were targeted, and authorities have not speculated on a motive. The sheriff has suggested that Hoffman, who spent six years in a Colorado prison on arson and other charges, had been watching them for some time.

Hoffman remains jailed on the kidnapping charge and is the only suspect in the killings. His attorney has declined to comment.

Sandy Burd works at a landscaping service where Hoffman was briefly employed earlier this year. She said Hoffman knew how to climb trees and had his own tree-climbing equipment.

She has been feeling guilty, wondering if she could have prevented the tragedy. She is a regular customer at the Dairy Queen, where Herrmann was a friendly face.

"When it's somebody who served you at the Dairy Queen two weeks ago," Burd said, shaking her head. "It's hard on everybody here."

A memorial of flowers and balloons was growing at the Herrmann home, where neighbors knelt to pray and pay their respects.

At the Dairy Queen, Herrmann's friends are trying to help in the only way they know how — by selling Blizzards. On Saturday, $1 from each Blizzard sold will be donated to a fund for Sarah Maynard and Sprang's children. The restaurant is accepting donations for the children and is working with the mayor to open bank accounts for them.

"There's some peace in knowing they are not suffering, because that was a major concern," Haythorn said. "We're very glad that that part has ended. But devastated over the fact that they will never be back."

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:07 am

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Post by Guest on Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:58 am

artgal16 wrote:Does he have a real father living I wonder?
The article only states there is a stepfather.

I'm not sure about that... maybe BJ will let us know! wink
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Post by Guest on Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:05 am

Praying For Faith wrote:I feel so sorry for Sarah Maynard. How will she ever be able to cope with what she has experienced and seen throughout all of this? And just what was he planning to do with her. I can only imagine and this all just makes me so sick to my stomach.

over reaction omg It\\'s Not Fair huge waste angry crying

I agree, Praying For Faith. She must have witnessed such horrific things - including her family being murdered & even her pet dog! I hope that she didn't witness him dismembering her family members as well (as was mentioned this evening on Nancy Grace). Not to mention what he may have done to her! This poor girl will need lots of counselling to get over this traumatic event!!

Hindsight is 20/20, but "if only" his girlfriend had pressed charges against him, or some family member had tried to get help for him... this tragedy might have been prevented. crying
I know that I will be more mindful of those I know who have similar extreme "anti social" behaviour, and try to get help for them before another tragedy occurs!
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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by Nama on Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:17 am

What I found in a People Search:
Matthew may have a 35 yr old sister.
His mother and stepfather live in Mt Vernon Ohio.
His father and a stepmother live in Warren Ohio.

The info may or may not be correct and I'm not going to post their names here.



Last edited by BJ in OR on Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:35 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Guest on Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:22 am

Thanks, BJ! You are so good at finding out information. Maybe his real father died? Just from looking at his picture (and from hearing about what he has done), I can sense that he has a lot of built-up anger. Too bad he didn't go for counselling a long time ago!
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Normal Ohio coroner to release details on slain family

Post by Nama on Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:44 am

A coroner is expected to provide more details Saturday about the deaths of two central Ohio women and an 11-year-old boy whose remains were found in trash bags hidden in a hollow tree following a weeklong search.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:37 am

Son says he’s not angry at man accused of killing his mom and Ohio family

Michael Kupiec, the son of Stephanie Sprang, 41, the woman killed with two others in Ohio last week, says he is not angry at the man accused of murdering them, but wants to see justice served.

He told WBNS Friday that he is anxious to learn more about what happened to his mother and her friend, Tina Herrmann, 32, and Herrmann’s son, Kody Maynard, 10.

“We’re not saying it’s a closure until we know who did it. We know who did it but we want to know specifics,” said Kupiec. He noted that nothing could have prepared him for the discovery of his mother’s body stuffed inside a hollow tree, reports WBNS.

“It was just a shock,” he said. “I was speechless that day. I was searching and searching and come to find out we weren’t even looking in the right spots.

To see photos related to the case, click here.

The three vanished on November 10, along with Tina’s daughter Sarah Maynard, 13. Sarah was found alive -- bound and gagged -- in the basement of Matthew J. Hoffman’s home on November 14. He was arrested and charged with kidnapping.

While in custody, Hoffman reportedly gave police information through his attorney regarding the location of the bodies of Stephanie, Tina, and Kody. Their remains were recovered Thursday in garbage bags hidden inside a tree on a wildlife preserve.

Hoffman is currently on suicide watch in Knox County Jail and is being held on a $1 million bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for November 23 at 2:30 p.m.

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Not mad? That is a huge understatement in my book. And, the bond was already a million. Aren't 3 more lives lost considered a "no bond" status? What is to know about this case? He somehow lured them to his home and slaughtered them. Case closed. Take him off suicide watch and let him have at it.

Honestly, between this horrific case the Zahra's case it's a wonder any of us get any sleep!
crying angry

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Normal Authorities cut down tree where bodies of 3 missing people found

Post by Praying For Faith on Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:03 pm

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(Pictures of the tree again on the above link.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010 02:56 AM
By Allison Manning
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Mourners have left mementos at the Herrmann family home, including this ball for Kody Maynard.

TOM DODGE | DISPATCH

Mourners have left mementos at the Herrmann family home, including this ball for Kody Maynard

Michael Gravely | WBNS-10TV photos

This is the opening where the bodies of Tina Herrmann, 32, her 11-year-old son, Kody Maynard, and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41, were pushed into the hollow tree in the Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area. Left: The 65-foot beech tree was cut down out of respect for the families, wildlife officials said.


MOUNT VERNON, Ohio -- Results from preliminary autopsies of the bodies of three people discovered in Knox County this week are expected today, Knox County Coroner Jennifer Ogle said.

Yesterday, officials offered more details about how the bodies were found in a hollow tree, but they didn't say more about how Tina Herrmann, 32, her 11-year-old son, Kody Maynard, and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41, likely died.

Herrmann's daughter, 13-year-old Sarah Maynard, also disappeared with the three Nov. 10.

She was found bound and gagged in the basement of Matthew J. Hoffman's Columbus Road home on Sunday. Hoffman, 30, is being held at the Knox County jail on kidnapping charges on a $1 million cash bond.

He's not yet been charged with the slayings.

The bodies were found in trash bags, inside a 65-foot beech tree in a forested section of the Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area north of Fredericktown.

Authorities explained yesterday that the opening for the hollow tree was near the top, not at the bottom, and that the bodies had been dropped down into the tree.

It's unclear how that was done, but there was speculation that Hoffman, an out-of-work tree trimmer, had used tree equipment that he owned to hoist the bags to the top.

Sources have said that the bodies were not intact.

An opening at the base of the tree had been created by authorities to make removing the bodies easier, then the tree was taken down entirely yesterday.

Gary Ludwig, a supervisor with the wildlife division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said the tree was cut down out of respect for the family and so that it wouldn't become "a sightseeing thing."

According to logs provided by the Knox County jail, Hoffman has been under a suicide watch since entering the prison just after 2 p.m Sunday. He's being checked every 10 minutes by guards.

The logs detail how he's spent his time:

For the first 21/2 hours of his stay on Sunday, he was left in a restraint chair. About 50 minutes after being strapped in, he urinated on himself, the log states.

At 5 p.m., he was put in a "suicide gown," a vest designed to keep him from hurting himself.

He spent much of his first day lying down, interrupted a few times to be fingerprinted and have his photo taken.

Just after 8:30 on Sunday evening, he started crying but had stopped by the time another deputy came back six minutes later. It is the only time that the log refers to his state of mind.

Hoffman spent nearly 61/2 hours with detectives on Monday, and an additional 90 minutes being questioned Tuesday morning.

He met with his attorney at 11:20a.m. Tuesday and had his videotaped court hearing at 1:30p.m. At 6:30 that night, after dinner, he was given an unnamed book and read for the next hour.

He met again with his attorney for more than two hours on Wednesday, before his mother, Patricia Hedglin, came for a 20-minute visit at 10 p.m., the first day of visiting hours. Hedglin and her husband live near Herrmann's home, seemingly the only connection between Hoffman and the families.

Thursday, Hoffman met with his attorney at 2:50 p.m., after the bodies had been cut out of the tree. Knox County Sheriff David Barber has confirmed that Hoffman told them of the location, but the log doesn't detail that conversation. After meeting with his attorney, the log says, Hoffman returned to his cell and again read.

At 5:10 p.m. Thursday, while Barber was telling reporters gathered at the sheriff's office that the bodies had been found, Hoffman was reading.

At 1:30 p.m. yesterday, he was given a new book and the old one was taken out.

Yesterday, mourners left flowers, balloons and candles outside the Herrmann home at King Beach Drive in Apple Valley, where Barber said the three were killed. Scrawled on a baseball were the words, "We love you Kody!"

Mike Page, 44, dated Sprang seven years ago and arrived at Herrmann's home armed with purple ribbons that he planned to staple on the deck. He'd later do the same at Sprang's house around the corner.

"She's just going to be sadly missed," Page said. "I don't think for anyone it's sunk in yet."

At the Dairy Queen in Mount Vernon where Herrmann had worked, the sign outside has read "Pray for Our Missing Families" all week.

Yesterday, an employee slowly took down seven letters from the sign, pausing to look at the new message before stepping off the ladder: "Pray for Our Families."

Dispatch reporter Randy Ludlow and photographer Tom Dodge contributed to this story. Information from the Associated Press also was included.

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omg I was afraid they had been dismembered also. crying

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Post by raine1953 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:04 pm


This is the opening where the bodies of Tina Herrmann, 32, her 11-year-old son, Kody Maynard, and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41, were pushed into the hollow tree in the Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area. Left: The 65-foot beech tree was cut down out of respect for the families, wildlife officials said.
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Post by raine1953 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:29 pm

Coroner: Ohio women, boy were stabbed to death, dismembered

Preliminary autopsy results indicate that a missing woman, her son and friend were stabbed to death and dismembered last week, the Knox County, Ohio, Coroner's Office said Saturday.
The remains of Tina Herrmann, 31, her son, Kody Maynard, 11, and Stephanie Sprang, 41, were found in garbage bags in the hollow of a tree in Kokosing Lake State Wildlife Area in Knox County, Ohio, authorities said Thursday.
The three had been missing since November 10, along with Herrmann's 13-year-old daughter, prompting a weeklong search throughout the rural region. The girl, Sarah Maynard, was found alive last Sunday, bound and gagged in the basement of a Mount Vernon residence, about 20 miles from the Herrman's central Ohio home.
The man who lived in the home, Matthew Hoffman, was arrested and faces a kidnapping charge in her abduction. He allegedly directed authorities to the missing people.
Cousin of kidnapped teen speaks Family killed; bodies stuffed in tree

"His information led to the location of the bodies," Knox County Sheriff David Barber said Thursday, while announcing the discovery of the remains.
The three were attacked with a knife and stabbed multiple times in the back and chest, causing them to bleed to death, Knox County Coroner J.F. Ogle said in a statement Saturday.
There were no signs of sexual assault and the location of the deaths is pending further tests, she added. The final coroner's report will be released in six to eight weeks, after a full forensic examination by the Licking County Coroner's Office.
"Our entire community has been wounded in this tragedy and words can't describe the sorrow felt by all. However, I have seen this community rise up and challenge itself to greatness since the beginning of this ordeal," Ogle said. "Knox County is one of the warmest, kindest, and most beautiful communities I have ever witnessed, and I firmly believe that no one person can ever steal that away from us."
Herrmann failed to report to work at a Dairy Queen in Mount Vernon on November 10, Barber told CNN affiliate WBNS. A deputy twice went to her home in Howard, about nine miles east of Mount Vernon, and saw her pickup there. No one answered the door, though lights were on in the home.
Later in the week, blood was found in the home, leading authorities to suspect foul play.
Sarah Maynard was found in an early morning raid involving a SWAT team. She was released from the hospital Monday, after being evaluated and treated for injuries, the sheriff said.
Hoffman, her alleged captor, is in custody, awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for November 23 on the kidnapping charge.
The incident was not a home invasion, the sheriff said, adding that "either they knew Hoffman or Hoffman made himself known to them."
When asked earlier this week if officials took the death penalty off the table in order to find the bodies, Knox County prosecutor John C. Thatcher responded that he could not say whether Hoffman confessed to the killings.
He said he expects to take the case to the grand jury in four to six weeks.

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Post by raine1953 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:49 pm

OMG, I kind of thought they may have been dismembered so they could be put in the tree but reading this just makes me sick. I so feel for Sarah and pray that she didn't witness the murders or god forbid the dismembering! And her poor Dad! Having the knowledge of whatever that monster did to Sarah and to now know his son is dead, stabbed and dismembered? OMG.
This has got to stop! Why do we have so many sick individuals now? I know no one has the answer to this, I'm just ranting.
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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:39 am

By MEGHAN BARR, Associated Press – Sat Nov 20, 5:52 pm ET

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – Two women and an 11-year-old boy were stabbed to death and dismembered before their remains were put in garbage bags and lowered into a hollow tree, a coroner said Saturday, the latest gruesome details of the murders that have stunned this tiny town.

Preliminary autopsy reports show that Tina Herrmann, her son, Kody Maynard, and her friend Stephanie Sprang were stabbed multiple times with a knife in the back and chest Nov. 10, Knox County Coroner Jennifer Ogle said.

"They were then placed inside large plastic garbage bags and later lowered into the hollow of a large tree," Ogle said in a statement. It's unclear exactly when they died or when their remains were put in the tree. There were no signs of sexual assault.

The remains of the family dog — a miniature pinscher named Tanner — were found in the tree with the bodies, said Joe Pejsa, a family friend.

The victims disappeared Nov. 10 along with Herrmann's daughter, 13-year-old Sarah Maynard, who was found bound and gagged several days later in the basement of an unemployed tree-cutter, Matthew Hoffman. Hoffman is accused of kidnapping the girl and keeping her in the basement of his home in Mount Vernon, about 10 miles west of Howard in central Ohio.
Authorities say Hoffman provided information that led investigators to the bodies in a wildlife preserve in rural Fredericktown, where Amish buggies are a familiar sight. The 60-foot-tall American beech tree was chopped down Friday out of respect for the victims' families. The tree was too large to be transported out of the area, wildlife officials say, so its pieces were left in a mound in the preserve.

Hoffman is the only suspect in the killings. His attorney has declined to comment.

Nobody knows how the killer managed to put the bodies in the tree, though wildlife officials say beech tree trunks are typically hollow. Hoffman's former co-workers at a tree-trimming business say he had his own climbing equipment.

The disappearances and subsequent discovery of the bodies have unfolded like a horror movie in Mount Vernon, where people banded together to form search parties in hopes of finding the victims.

Pejsa, the uncle of Herrmann's former live-in boyfriend, Greg Borders, said he was the first person allowed inside the home after investigators cleared the scene. He cleaned blood off the bathroom walls with bleach so that his nephew wouldn't have to see it.
"It was terrible," he said. "Everything led back to the bathroom."

Pejsa answered the door at Herrmann's home on Saturday, where he was moving out furniture with Borders, who did not want to be interviewed. A memorial of flowers and balloons was growing on the front lawn near a tree that Pejsa says Kody used as second base when he played kickball.

The bodies were found at the base of the tree, and authorities had to cut away part of the trunk to get them out, Pejsa said he was told by investigators.
Nobody knows why the four were targeted, and authorities have not speculated on a motive. But the sheriff has suggested that Hoffman, who spent six years in a Colorado prison for arson and other charges, had been watching them for some time.

In the months before they died, Pejsa said, Borders and Herrmann suspected somebody was watching them. Several months ago, they saw a man dressed in camouflage sitting on a tree stump across the street, staring at their home. He said Borders couldn't say for sure if the man on the stump was Hoffman, but he believes it was him.

"There would be knocks at the door and people would take off," he said.

Pejsa said the family has been moving some of the furniture out of the home and has hired a company to gut some of the rooms.

"Greg has no intention of coming back to this place," he said.

Herrmann's manager at Dairy Queen, Valerie Haythorn, told The Associated Press that when she drove by last week after Herrmann missed a day of work, the lights were on at Herrmann's home and her truck was in the driveway. Thinking all was well, Haythorn kept driving.
When Herrmann missed a second day, Haythorn drove back to the house — and this time she went inside.
"It was enough blood there that I knew there was a problem," she said. "Nobody cut their finger in that house."

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Note: There is some talk going on in the comments that the 13 year old girl was writing Hoffman love letters/notes. Have no clue if this is true or not.

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Normal Re: Hoffman pleads guilty to all charges in lieu of the DP in murders of Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old son, Kody (daughter Sarah found alive), & her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang/ Hoffman covered his house in leaves

Post by Guest on Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:16 pm

raine1953 wrote:OMG, I kind of thought they may have been dismembered so they could be put in the tree but reading this just makes me sick. I so feel for Sarah and pray that she didn't witness the murders or god forbid the dismembering! And her poor Dad! Having the knowledge of whatever that monster did to Sarah and to now know his son is dead, stabbed and dismembered? OMG.
This has got to stop! Why do we have so many sick individuals now? I know no one has the answer to this, I'm just ranting.

I am not a psychologist, but I don't think you need a degree to see that this creep (Matthew Hoffman) had serious problems for some time! From earlier posts (posted above), he seemed to demonstrate anti-social behaviour as a teenager, and it obviously escalated through the years. I don't know if he was into horror movies or video games, but I have a 10 year old son who has friends who are already playing violent video games. I don't let him play the violent ones, but I really feel that this is where young men (esp. with anti-social behaviour) start to become desensitized to violence. Then, add to that all the violent movies and TV shows available to be watched (ie. "Saw" movies and the "Dexter" show on TV) and it really doesn't surprise me that this happened!! We are living in a culture of violence & crime - is it any wonder we have so much violence & crime?!? umno


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