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Kidnapped Ohio girl found in basement, suspect in custody

Bryan Alaspa's picture

A kidnapped 13-year-old girl from Ohio was found bound and gagged in a basement on Sunday afternoon. Her mother, brother and another woman who also vanished at the same time that she did are still listed as missing. A suspect, Matthew Hoffman, is now in custody and charged with kidnapping.

Hoffman was arrested in his home in Mount Vernon, Ohio, which was where the girl, Sarah Maynard, was found. The sheriff’s department released a statement that said that the girl was in the hospital and appeared in good condition. However, the department also said that they were not going to release any more details about the case because it was an ongoing investigation.

Four people vanished

The case has been going on since Wednesday when the four people vanished. Police were particularly alarmed because they found a large amount of blood in the home of Tina Hermann, Sarah Maynard’s mother. Also missing were Sarah’s 10-year-old brother, Kody, Tina Hermann, and a friend of Tina Hermann, Stephanie Sprang.

There were rumors from a neighbor speaking to local media that a body bag was removed from Hoffman’s house. However, the sheriff’s department has vehemently denied that any bodies were found. They have not released any details about what led them to Hoffman’s home, either. His house is about 10 miles from Sarah’s home.

Neighbors described Hoffman as a nature lover who trimmed trees, had a hammock in a tree and collected leaves. However, others near him say he lived alone and was strange. One local mother told the media that she did not allow her kids out to play when she spotted Hoffman outside alone. Another said he had a hammock in a tree and would often listen in on neighbor’s conversations.

Authorities are mum on a number of questions. For example, it is currently unknown if Hoffman knew the family or if he had become friends with anyone in the family. However, they did say that they believed Maynard was “under the control” of Hoffman since last Wednesday when Sarah and her family were last seen together.

Hoffman is currently in custody and has been officially charged with kidnapping. The whereabouts of the other missing members of Maynard’s family and the family friend are still unknown.

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