The remains of the two women and young boy that had been missing from a Howard, Ohio, residence since at least November 10 were found dismembered, a friend of the Herrmann family said Saturday. The Associated Press reported that Joe Pejsa, the uncle of Tina Herrmann’s ex-live-in boyfriend, said investigators had told him that not only were the bodies recovered in a state of dismemberment but that the remains of the family dog were found as well.
Knox County Sheriff David Barber announced Thursday that Tina Herrmann, 32, her 10-year-old son, Kody Maynard, and her 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang were recovered from the hollow of a beech tree in Knox County. The state of the bodies was not disclosed at the time. Officials acknowledged that information given by Matthew Hoffman, a 30-year-old suspect arrested Sunday, had led them to the bodies.
Police concluded that the victims may have been killed at the Herrmann’s Howard, Ohio, residence due to the copious amount of blood found there. Authorities would not confirm whether or not Hoffman admitted to killing the victims.
A fourth victim, 13-year-old Sarah Maynard, was found alive Sunday when a SWAT team entered Hoffman’s home and found her bound and gagged in the basement. Although investigators admitted to questioning the teen, it was not disclosed what she contributed — if anything — to the case. It is also unknown if she observed the killings take place.
Sarah Maynard was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a nearby hospital. She is currently living with relatives.
Joe Pesja said that the family believed they were being watched and had noticed a man dressed in camouflage sitting on a stump across the street from their house a few months before they disappeared. He said there had been knocks at the door but no one would be there when the door was opened.
Sheriff Barber said that they believed Matthew Hoffman had been watching the Herrmann family for some time, but it was as yet uncertain just why Tina Herrmann and her family was targeted.
Hoffman was not connected via a current or former relationship to either of the women in the case. Police said Tuesday that they were uncertain how Matthew Hoffman came to be connected with the Herrmann family. An out of work tree-trimmer, one of Hoffman’s neighbors noted that he acted somewhat strangely and would climb trees, sit, and just observe their homes.
Matthew Hoffman is currently in jail, held on a $1 million bond, charged with suspicion of kidnapping Sarah Maynard. A hearing on the charge is scheduled for November 23.
“Bodies of Missing Ohio Family not Intact When Found, Friend Says,” Associated Press via FoxNews.com