Now It’s Real
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (AP) — A 13-year-old girl missing for days was found bound and gagged but alive in a basement Sunday, and authorities hoped a man charged with kidnapping her might lead them to her mother, brother and another woman who disappeared with her.
Matthew J. Hoffman, 30, was arrested at his Mount Vernon home, where Sarah Maynard was found, Knox County Sheriff David Barber said. He said the girl was hospitalized in good condition but would give no further details.
Barber did not say what led investigators to Hoffman’s home, which is about 10 miles from the home of Sarah’s family. He said authorities hoped Hoffman would give them information leading to Sarah’s mother, Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old brother, Kody, and Herrmann’s 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang.
The four vanished Wednesday in a case that was all the more alarming because an unusual amount of blood was found at Herrmann’s home in Howard.
Okay. Maybe they’ve all been put up in a nice hotel, but I doubt it. The missing people may be buried in crates with a 24 hour supply of air. They may be injured and in need of immediate care or they’ll die. Or they may be in the hands of people planning to torture and murder them, or under instructions to kill them unless told otherwise.
And someone with information is in custody. There is no danger of snagging an innocent party here. The girl was held captive in his house. Now maybe the cops can scare him into talking by threatening him with murder charges if anyone dies. But he might just decide to play hardball and demand amnesty for all concerned.
This isn’t a hypothetical case. It’s not a “just so” story. And it’s happening now. Your move. Get the information.