Son, Mom, Friend Were Stabbed to Death

Before being hidden inside hollow tree
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 20, 2010 4:00 PM CST
Son, Mom, Friend Were Stabbed to Death
A sheriff's deputy directs traffic away from one of the entrances to Kokosing Lake where three bodies were found.   (Jay LaPrete)

Two women and an 11-year-old boy were stabbed to death and dismembered before their remains were placed in a hollow tree, a coroner said today, confirming the fears of many in the tiny Ohio town where the three went missing. Preliminary autopsy reports show that Tina Herrmann, son Kody, and her friend Stephanie Sprang were attacked with a knife and stabbed multiple times in the back and chest.

"They were then placed inside large plastic garbage bags and later lowered into the hollow of a large tree," said the statement. There were no signs of sexual assault. Suspect Matthew Hoffmann is also accused of keeping Herrmann's 13-year-old daughter, Sarah, in his basement for days before police rescued her. A family friend says the Herrmanns believed someone was watching them before they were killed. Several months ago, they saw a man in camouflage sitting on a stump across the street watching them.
(Read more Tina Herrmann stories.)

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