MOUNT VERNON — An early Sunday morning raid at 49 Columbus Road, Mount Vernon, 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.
Get audio from the press conferences, see images of the investigation and search, a map of key events and related stories.
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 this morning with one count of kidnapping.
Barber said the raid was the result of investigative efforts by detectives of the sheriff’s office and would not comment further on how the investigation ended up on Columbus Road.
Hoffman gave sheriff’s deputies two addresses — the residence where he was arrested and one on Apple Valley Drive in Howard.
“That address is within walking distance of the crime scene (in Apple Valley ) and is owned by his mother and stepfather. 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.”
During his Sunday afternoon press conference, Barber said Hoffman was being uncooperative during questioning.
“The residence on Columbus Road is currently being processed by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation,” Barber said on Sunday. “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.
Barber added the collection of evidence at the Apple Valley residence was completed Saturday evening. He expects the results of DNA testing by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation to be completed today.
“We have been assured this will be considered a priority case by the BCI&I,” Barber said.
A “significant” amount of blood was found in Herrmann’s home. Barber said it indicated some kind of injury occurred but would not speculate as to what.
Divers have searched areas in Apple Valley Lake and Foundation Park looking for clues. Foundation Park was closed today but a wooded area near the front entrance of the park was taped off.
Sprang’s family told the News they are grateful to the community for its support and to Staples for providing fliers. They will be out hanging the fliers throughout the area today.
During Saturday’s press conference, Barber pointed out that aircraft from the Ohio State Highway Patrol was on the case as he spoke at the scene.
“They are flying over this area with infrared scanners,” he explained. “We also have officers on quad-runners checking the areas around here.”
Barber said the continued use of airplanes and quad-runners would be “to look for any one or anything that may have gone away from the scene that might be relevant to the investigation.”
In addition to BCI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are assisting with the investigation.
Hoffman spent eight years in a Colorado prison for burglary and arson charges after he lit 10 gallons of gasoline on fire in a townhouse to cover up a burglary. No one was injured in the blaze. He was ordered to pay restitution to the victims and serve five years of community control.
Hoffman is scheduled for a bond hearing Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon Municipal Court.
Angel Davis, who lives next door to the home where Maynard was rescued, said the man who lives there did not interact with her or her children much, because she avoided him.
“The only interaction I had with them was over their dog,” she said, adding the discourse was not pleasant. “I talked to the man through a window about their dog attacking our dog in our yard.”
Davis adds that she has not allowed her three children, ages 9, 11, and 14, to play outside near her home for some time, because she has had concerns about their safety.
“I prefer them not knowing me, and I don’t want them to know my business,” she explained.
She described the scene Sunday morning, when SWAT officers raided the home next door.
“I had just gotten up and was on the computer talking to my aunt and heard a great big boom,” she said.
“I opened my window and saw all these officers with their guns drawn,” she recounted. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
Davis said she checked with law enforcement around 2 p.m. for permission to leave her home with her three frightened children, and was told they were allowed to leave.
“At 2 p.m. I took my kids and my dog and left,” Davis said, adding she has yet to be interviewed by law enforcement.
Anyone with information on the case should call the KCSO at 397-3333 or the detective division at 393-6800.