Knox County Sheriff David Barber met with members of the media on Monday with an update on the search for three people still missing from this rural area.
Tina Herrmann, her son Kody Maynard and friend Stephanie Sprang were last heard from on Wednesday November 10. Also missing since that time was Herrmann’s 13-year old daughter who was found bound and gagged in a basement at 49 Columbus Road just outside of Mount Vernon.
Arrested at the Columbus Road home was 30-year old Matthew Hoffman who was initially charged with kidnapping. Barber stated on Sunday afternoon that he expected more charges to be filed. As of the time of the media briefing, Hoffman had not yet been arraigned and had no legal representation.
“Very helpful. She is a very brave little girl,” said Barber. “A 13-year old little girl being held against her will…she’s the epitome of bravery.”
The young girl was held captive and under Hoffman’s control from sometime Wednesday evening until officers raided the Columbus Road home at 8:00 am Sunday morning.
While law enforcement and the families remain hopeful that the other three will be found safe, Barber stated that the investigation and the large amount of blood found at the King Beach Drive home where they were last seen has led the instigation to a two-pronged attack.
“We have to be realistic. Based on evidence, interviews and the amount of blood, the other three victims could possibly be dead.”
While Barber would not release many details, he did confirm that the girl is physically well and in the care of family members. According to investigators, the first time she saw Matthew Hoffman was on Wednesday inside the King Beach Drive home and she was with her mother, Tina Herrmann, and her brother Kody Maynard. That was also the last day and place the victim saw her mother and brother.
Barber stated that it may have been Tuesday that she last saw Stephanie Sprang.
On Thursday evening, Tina Herrmann’s pickup truck was recovered at the Brown Environmental Family Center near Kenyon College in Gambier, about seven miles from the family’s home in Apple Valley. It was confirmed today that a Knox County Sheriff’s deputy spoke with Matthew Hoffman a short distance away in a parking lot for the Kokosing Gap Trail that evening.
While Sheriff Barber was not willing to define this as a home invasion, the investigation and evidence gives every indication that these four people did not leave the King Beach Drive home willingly.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Department is concentrating its search efforts in the Knox County area and is asking for area residents to call with any information. Barber assured the media that any tip would be investigated. The Knox County Sheriff’s office can be reached at 740-393-7777 or the tip line at 1-888-363-TIPS (8477).
The Facebook Page “Pray for the Maynard Kids” was established by a friend of the family and has recent photos of the three who remain missing.