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Ohio sheriff says 3 others missing might be dead

Bryan Alaspa's picture

The family of the 13-year-old girl found bound in a basement on Sunday might be dead, according to a statement from an Ohio sheriff. Today the authorities searching for the mother, younger brother and family friend of Sarah Maynard searched a lake for bodies. Maynard was found bound and gagged in a basement on Sunday and a man named Matthew Hoffman was arrested for kidnapping.

The missing people include Maynard’s mother, Tina Herrmann, 32, her brother Kody, 10, and a friend of Herrmann, Stephanie Sprang, 41. The entire family, including Sarah Maynard, were last seen the prior Wednesday and authorities had been looking for them. Exactly what led them to the home of Matthew Hoffman is unclear but Maynard was found in his basement and taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Arrested for kidnapping

Hoffman was placed under arrest and charged with kidnapping. Neighbors said that Hoffman was a naturalist who was often seen collecting leaves. He was also known to trim trees, but had a hammock in a large tree where some neighbors said he would listen to conversations. Other neighbors reported that they would not let their children outside to play when Hoffman was outside alone.

Today Sheriff David Barber spoke to the media and said that it was entirely possible that the three missing people might be deceased. The home of Herrmann was found spattered with blood. Barber also said that he feels the case may likely switch from a missing persons case into a case to try and recover bodies.

Today a boat equipped with sonar was seen scouting a nearby lake. Authorities later pulled a four-door vehicle from the lake. According to witnesses the authorities looked inside the car but that there was nothing inside. Divers were also seen assisting in the search.

Hoffman remains in jail without bail. At last report he did not have an attorney and there was no information on whether or not he had provided authorities with any information about the case. There also is, as of yet, no known connection between Hoffman and the family that is missing.

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