Bodies of Missing Family Found in Hollow Tree

Lawyers for Matthew Hoffman tell police where to find bodies

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 18, 2010 3:08 PM CST | Updated Nov 19, 2010 1:20 AM CST

(Newser) – The bodies of three missing people in Ohio have been found wrapped in garbage bags and stuffed into a hollow tree, MSNBC reports. Police had been on the hunt for Tina Herrmann, 32, her 10-year-old son, Kody, and a friend of Herrmann's, Stephanie Sprang, 41, since Nov. 10. They were apparently killed at Herrmann's home, investigators believe. Hermann's 13-year-old daughter, Sarah Maynard, is recuperating after being found bound and gagged in the basement of tree trimmer Matthew Hoffman, who remains in custody and charged with kidnapping.

Police were directed to the bodies by lawyers for Hoffman, a 31-year-old drifter recently released from a Colorado prison after serving time for arson and burglary. Hoffman's parents live within walking distance of the Herrmann home, and investigators are probing whether there is any other connection between Hoffman and the murdered family, ABC News reports. Neighbors say Hoffman is a "bizarre" individual who climbed trees to spy on them, and killed squirrels for food.

This police booking photo provided by the Knox County Sheriff, shows 30-year-old Matthew Hoffman in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
This police booking photo provided by the Knox County Sheriff, shows 30-year-old Matthew Hoffman in Mount Vernon, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Knox County Sheriff)
The home of Tina Herrmann is seen Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, in Howard, Ohio.
The home of Tina Herrmann is seen Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, in Howard, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth)
This undated photo provided by WBNS-10TV on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010, shows Stephanie Sprang.
This undated photo provided by WBNS-10TV on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010, shows Stephanie Sprang.   (AP Photo/WBNS-10TV)
This undated family photo provided by WBNS-10TV on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010, shows 32-year-old Tina Herrmann.
This undated family photo provided by WBNS-10TV on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010, shows 32-year-old Tina Herrmann.   (AP Photo/WBNS-10TV)
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