MOUNT VERNON — An early morning raid at 49 Columbus Road by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Mount Vernon Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit resulted in the rescue of one of the four people missing from Apple Valley since last Wednesday.
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According to Knox County Sheriff David Barber, Sarah Maynard, 13, was discovered bound and gagged in the basement of the Columbus Road residence. Homeowner Matthew Hoffman was in the home at the time of the raid. He was taken into custody and charged with one count of kidnapping.
“We have good news to report today,” Barber said. “We have located and rescued Sarah Maynard at approximately 8 a.m. this morning. She was being held against her will and she was in good condition with non-life threatening injuries. She was taken to the hospital for evaluation. She has been interviewed somewhat. In the house with her was an individual from Mount Vernon. He is now in the Knox County Jail currently charged with kidnapping. His name is Matthew J. Hoffman and he is 30 years old. We believe Sarah was under the control of Mr. Hoffman since last Wednesday in one form or another and at one location or another.”
Knox Community Hospital confirmed Sarah had been taken there for evaluation and was transferred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus this afternoon.
Hoffman gave sheriff’s deputies two addresses, one was the residence where he was arrested. The second was 3730 Apple Valley Drive, Howard.
“That address is within walking distance of the crime scene (in Apple Valley ) and is owned by his mother and step-father. Additional charges are expected to be filed as this investigation continues. Unfortunately, as of this time we have not located Tina, Stephanie or Kody. The investigation continues. Hoffman has not given us any information and has not been cooperative at this point.”
Still missing are Maynard’s mother, Tina Herrmann, 32,; her brother, Kody Maynard, 11; and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41, all of Howard.
Barber added Hoffman does have a prior conviction for arson in Colorado for which he did prison time.
“We are unsure at this time if (Hoffman) was acquainted with the family,” Barber said. “That remains to be seen as the investigation continues.”
Barber said the raid was the result of investigative efforts by detectives of the sheriff’s office. He denied the response was to reports of gunshots at the house or because someone escaped from the house early this morning. He also stated the coroner had not been called in after the raid and that no bodies were found in the residence.
“The residence on Columbus Road is currently being processed by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation,” Barber explained. “It is being considered a crime scene and treated as such.”
Barber told the News that the incident was still being treated as a missing persons case.
“As of right now we have no one we are aware of is deceased,” Barber said.
Barber added the collection of evidence at the Apple Valley residence was completed Saturday evening.
“Tomorrow (Monday) we hope DNA testing can begin,” he said. “We have been assured this will be considered a priority case by the BCI&I.”