Suspected Kidnapper Bought Trash Bags, T-Shirt, Tarps


UPDATED: Wednesday November 17, 2010 8:02 AM

Investigators have recovered significant pieces of evidence in connection with the kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl and the disappearance of two women and a boy, the Knox County Sheriff said on Tuesday.

Sheriff David Barber would not elaborate about what was recovered, 10TV News reported.

No one has seen or heard from Tina Herrmann, 32; her son, Kody, 11; and a friend, Stephanie Sprang, 41, since last Wednesday.

SLIDESHOWS:  Vehicles Connected With Case |  Hoffman In Court |  Case Timeline | Tuesday's Search |   Park Search   |   Images From Mount Vernon Neighborhood Four Missing | Search For Missing People | VIDEO EXTRAS: Sheriff David Barber's No. 16 News Conference | Nov. 15 News Conference

Search operations for the three included cadaver dogs on Tuesday.

Investigators used dogs to search six specific areas, including the Kokosing Gap trail that runs between nearby Howard, Ohio, and Mount Vernon, 10TV's Tino Ramos reported.

Matthew Hoffman, who is charged in the kidnapping of Sarah Maynard, 13, was ordered held under $1 million bond on Tuesday.

Hoffman, 30, was ordered to post the full $1 million to be released from custody, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.  He will be back in court next Tuesday.

Hoffman, who has not cooperated with investigators, now has a public defender and investigators have been cut off from him since he has a lawyer, Barber said.

According to Barber, Hoffman purchased trash bags, a T-shirt, tarps and a sandwich from the Mount Vernon Walmart.  Investigators recovered trash bags and a tarp during their investigation, Barber said.

Barber would not elaborate on when the items were purchased.

Investigators tracked Hoffman down from the receipt and swarmed his Columbus Road home on Sunday morning.  Sarah Maynard was found alive, bound and gagged in Hoffman's basement.

On Tuesday, 10 Investigates obtained a police report that centered around an incident at Hoffman's home on Oct. 24.

Earlier this week, Hoffman's ex-girlfriend told 10TV News that he put his hand around her throat and choked her after she broke up with him.

"I went to my ex-boyfriend's house to pick up my car," the woman said in the report.  "We were in his living room talking and he got upset and he pushed me against the wall.  He grabbed his forearm up against my neck and was choking me.  I (kind of) got loose, then he grabbed me and we fell over his chair and onto the floor.

"I was fighting to try and get him off me, but he proceeded to choke me on the ground.  He probably had me pinned down on the ground for about a minute or two.  Finally, he let me up and we talked for a few minutes, and then I left."

Hoffman's ex-girlfriend requested anonymity to 10TV News.

Hoffman's neighbor, Donna Davis, who is a friend of the ex-girlfriend, described the attack to 10TV News.

"He had choked her and she had marks on her where he had choked her."

Barber asked the public to look at photos of the three vehicles involved in the case and to recall if they saw them last Wednesday or Thursday.  The vehicles were a Ford F-150 pickup that Herrmann was driving, a 2008 Toyota Yaris that Hoffman was driving and a silver Jeep that Sprang was driving.

Herrmann's pickup was found abandoned on Thursday on the campus of Kenyon College. All three vehicles were impounded.

Kody A. Maynard is 4 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 70 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Sprang is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighing 110 pounds, with blonde hair and green eyes.

Herrmann is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighing 122 pounds, with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Knox County Sheriff's Office at 740-397-3333 or the tip line at 888-363-8477.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

November 16, 2010:  Families Still Hopeful 3 Will Be Found Alive
November 15, 2010: Mother Of Suspected Kidnapper Says He Is 'Loner'
November 15, 2010: Sheriff: 3 Missing People Could Be Dead
November 15, 2010:  Police Block Off Park As Mount Vernon Search Continues
November 15, 2010:  Suspected Kidnapper's Past Includes Arson Conviction
November 14, 2010:   Missing Girl Found Safe; Man In Custody
November 13, 2010:  Search For 4 Grows More Intense
November 13, 2010:  Support Growing To Find Missing Family, Friend
November 12, 2010:  Search Continues For Missing Women, Children
November 12, 2010:  4 Missing From Knox Co.; Discovery Of Pickup Prompts Kenyon College Lockdown