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Entries in Tina Herrmann (4)

Thursday
Jan062011

Hoffman Pleads Guilty in Gruesome Ohio Killings and Abduction

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MOUNT VERNON, Ohio) -- An Ohio man pleaded guilty Thursday to killing three people, stuffing their bodies in a hollow tree, and kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old girl. He was promptly given a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Matthew Hoffman, 30, was confronted during his sentencing Thursday by his 13-year-old victim and Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher read a statement the girl wrote.

"This has changed my whole life and my family's life, too," the girl wrote.

"This is so sickening, Matthew, to know you even had the guts to do this to a family," her statement said.

She also told Hoffman that she was no longer afraid of him.

"I believe (the victim) isn't afraid of Hoffman anymore, if she says so. I was glad she got to see him go to prison today," Thatcher told ABC News Thursday in an interview after the sentencing.

The girl had been previously identified, but now that it is apparent that she was a sex crime victim, her name is being withheld.

The indictment and Thursday's hearing cleared up some of the mystery around the gruesome crime. It had been speculated that Hoffman had targeted the family in order to kidnap the girl, but the carnage was the result of a burglary gone horribly wrong.

"Hoffman did not target this family. He chose to burglarize the house because he saw that he could enter through an open garage door. We believe he burglarized another house in the county entering through an open garage door," Thatcher said.

The indictment states that Hoffman, an unemployed ex-tree trimmer with a rap sheet, was attempting to burglarize the home of Tina Herrmann, 32, on Nov. 10.

He was surprised by the family and then stabbed Hermann to death along with her son, Kody Maynard, 11, and a family friend, Stephanie Sprang, 41. He also killed the family dog.

In the home was Herrmann's 13-year-old daughter who Hoffman kidnapped, and brought to his residence where he raped her, the indictment states.

"For whatever reason, he chose to spare (the girl) and thank God he did," Thatcher said after the court hearing Thursday, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

The prosecutor also said that Hoffman, when confronted by evidence of his crime, agreed to tell police where he stashed the bodies and plead guilty if he was spared the death penalty. Officials had previously said they would never have found the bodies if Hoffman hadn't directed them to the precise location.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov192010

Ohio Police Find Bodies of Trio Who Disappeared Last Week

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(APPLE VALLEY, Ohio) -- 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 Thursday.

Knox County Sheriff David Barber said they were told where to find the victims by Matthew Hoffman, who was in custody for kidnapping 13-year-old Sarah Maynard.

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

The bodies were found just 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.

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

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 via video 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.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov142010

Girl Found in Missing Family Mystery 

Photo Courtesy - WSYX Columbus(MOUNT VERNON, Ohio) -- The 13-year-old girl in a group of four people that went missing in Ohio last week was found alive Sunday, but she had been held against her will, police said.

A SWAT team found Sarah Maynard bound and gagged in the basement of a home in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Knox County Sheriff David Barber said at a news conference.

The man who lives in the house, 30-year-old Matthew Hoffman was arrested and charged with kidnapping, Barber said.

The girl was taken to Knox Community Hospital for evaluation, the sheriff said.

Maynard had disappeared along with her brother, her mother and a friend of her mother on Thursday from Howard, a small town in central Ohio.

Police reported Saturday that an "unusual amount of blood" was found in the home of Maynard's mother, Tina Herrmann, after the four vanished. Still missing are Herrmann's 10-year-old son Kody Maynard, and a friend, Stephanie Sprang, 41.

Herrmann, 32, was reported missing by her boyfriend, Greg Borders, on Wednesday. Borders told the Columbus Dispatch that the couple lived together but were in process of breaking up. He said he last heard from her Wednesday via text message.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov122010

Missing Ohio Family Prompts College Lockdown, Search

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Ohio police are searching for four missing people, including two children, whose alarming disappearance prompted an Ohio college to go on lockdown overnight as police warned of a "potentially dangerous person in the vicinity."

Tina Herrmann, 32, was reported missing by her boyfriend Wednesday. When she did not show up for work at a Dairy Queen Thursday, her co-workers went to her home looking for her and soon after called the police, Knox County Sheriff David Barber told WBNS-TV.

"Thursday, Tina did not show up at work; she works at the local Dairy Queen in Mount Vernon," Barber said. "A co-worker came out and met deputies out here. Her truck was gone."

Also missing are Herrmann's two children, 13-year-old Sarah Maynard and 10-year-old Kody Maynard, as well as a friend, Stephanie Sprang, 41. "When [Herrmann's co-worker] went in, she saw some things out of place," the sheriff told WBNS.

He said a search of the home revealed it to be in "unusual condition" for a place where woman and children lived, but did not specify what that meant.

Herrmann's ex-husband Larry Maynard told WBNS-TV that a co-worker went inside the home and saw blood and things out of place before calling police.

Spring's car was found outside Herrmann's home Thursday. Herrmann's pickup truck was at the home Wednesday when the boyfriend reported her missing, Barber said, but it was found abandoned Thursday night at nearby Kenyon College.

Police alerted the college that they believed the car may have been left there by a person involved in the group's disappearance.

The college sent out an e-mail to students Thursday night, alerting them that "local law enforcement advised of a potentially dangerous person in the vicinity."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio