Sad Thursday This Nov 18th 2010 Blog by Brew Lock and Load
Over 12,076,889 people are on fubar. What are you waiting for? of three missing people found in Knox County Tina Herrmann, 32; her 11-year-old son, Kody Maynard; and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41, disappeared a week ago Wednesday.  Matthew J. Hoffman's attorneys Thursday told investigators where to find the bodies of three people missing for more than a week, leading them to a hollow tree in a state wilderness area. The bodies of two women and an 11-year-old boy were found stuffed in a hollow tree in the Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area in northwestern Knox County, an area that had eluded a series of non-stop searches. White hearses headed into the area just before 5 p.m. Thursday. Sheriff David B. Barber said the bodies were found in garbage bags inside a hollow tree. Hoffman, 30, was a tree-trimmer with his own tree-climbing equipment. Prosecutor John Thatcher did not address whether Hoffman had confessed to the slayings and said he would seek indictments on additional charges in coming weeks. He could receive face death-penalty charges. Hoffman's attorneys talked to investigators early Thursday, Barber said. Sarah Maynard, 13, was found bound and gagged in the basement of Matthew J. Hoffman's home.The remains of Tina Herrmann, 32; her 11-year-old son, Kody Maynard; and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41, were found Thursday afternoon, Barber announced. The bodies were found more than 12 miles from Herrmann's bloodied Apple Valley home, from which they vanished a week ago yesterday. Chris Thompson, Stephanie Sprang's uncle, thanked the searchers and asked for prayers. "We're going to need time to deal with this," he said. Herrmann's daughter Sarah Maynard, 13, who also was abducted, was the sole survivor. She was found bound and gagged in the basement of Hoffman's Columbus Road home when police stormed the house Sunday, rescuing the girl and arresting Hoffman for kidnapping. She is now staying with her father. A neighbor delivering dinner to the family Thursday afternoon said Sarah was with her extended family and looked well. The discovery of the bodies north of Fredericktown severed the last thin thread of hope among some community residents that the missing still might be alive, although authorities increasingly had counseled against that belief. Hundreds of volunteers, many wearing purple ribbons, had combed the woods and fields of Knox County in search of the missing and any evidence. More than 300 gathered Thursday to search again throughout a county seldom confronted with violent crime. Searches had been concentrated in the eastern part of the county, far from where the bodies were found. Herrmann's truck was stolen and abandoned near Gambier east of Mount Vernon. Aerial views from the WBNS-TV (Channel 10) helicopter showed investigators working in a wooded area near Kokosing Lake, with crime-scene vehicles parked in a nearby field. A Fredericktown woman visiting her parents said deputies blocked the intersection of Yankee Street and Quaker Road aabout 2 p.m. "Typically, this area is very quiet and very serene," said Elizabeth Elswick, whose parents live just outside the barricade. She said her mother noticed no unusual activity recently, but the area between her parents' home and the spot where the bodies were found is heavily wooded. Matthew J. Hoffman is a suspect in the kidnapping of Sarah Maynard and is being held on a $1 million bond.  Hoffman, an ex-convict who recently lost his part-time job as a tree trimmer and broke up with his girlfriend after she accused him of assault, is being held under $1 million bond. He is scheduled to next appear in court on Tuesday. A team of deputies from three sheriff's officers, state investigators and others had been working the case around the clock since Herrmann's boss at the Mount Vernon Dairy Queen discovered blood in her home a week ago Thursday. "I have never experienced a case this big, this tragic," Barber said, who praised all the law-enforcement assistance that rallied to the aid of his office. A Walmart receipt listing Hoffman's purchase of trash bags, a tarp and other items led to his arrest and the discovery that he was holding Sarah Maynard captive. Authorities have not said where the receipt was found. For the rest of this story, visit

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