Knox County Family Channeling Grief Into Good


UPDATED: Thursday July 14, 2011 11:15 PM

Eight months after the slayings of three people, including a child, the mother of one of the victims hopes the tragedy can help others.

Barbara Herrmann, the mother of one of the victims, Tina Herrmann, rallied the community on Wednesday to support a special event to raise money for a fund to help other victims of crime. 10TV's Andrea Cambern reported.

The bodies of Tina Herrmann, 32; her son, Kody Maynard, 11 and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41, were found on Nov. 18 in a wooded area of the Kokosing Wildlife Preserve.

Matthew Hoffman pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, gross abuse of a corpse, burglary, kidnapping and rape.  He was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Investigators said that Hoffman's motive was robbery.

Tina Herrmann's daughter, Sarah, survived a kidnapping and rape, and has since gone public with her ordeal.

"It's a complete life-changing experience," Barbara Herrmann said.  "My whole life changed.  There are no norms anymore.  You have different norms.  My norm is going to the cemetery and putting fresh flowers on their markers."

Barbara Herrmann, who moved back to Ohio from Florida after the slayings so she could be closer to Sarah Maynard, is helping organize a balloon festival in Fairfield County in honor of Tina Herrmann and Kody.

Barbara Herrmann said that there are life lessons to be learned in death, to appreciate those in your life and never miss an opportunity to tell them.

The last assignment in her grief recovery class was to write a letter to her daughter.

"At the end, I told her what I was proud of her for.  I never told her I was proud of her as a mom, but I did in that letter," Barbara Herrmann said.

The Fairfield County Hot Air Balloon Festival benefitting the Healing Hearts Memorial Fund is scheduled for Aug. 5-6 at the Fairfield County Airport.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

More Information:

Previous Stories:

February 9, 2011:  Knox County Killer Told Investigators He's 'Crazy'
February 8, 2011: Video, Photos Reveal More About Knox County Case
February 7, 2011: Knox County Killer: 'I Did Not Know A Single One Of Them'
January 6, 2011:  Man Gets Life In Prison For Knox County Slayings, Rape
December 7, 2010: Accused Knox County Kidnapper Taken Off Suicide Watch
November 24, 2010: Fire At Home Of Slain Knox Co. Woman Ruled Arson
November 23, 2010: Fire Causes Minor Damage To Home Of Slain Knox Co. Woman
November 22, 2010 : Accused Knox County Kidnapper Waives Hearing
November 22, 2010: Knox Co. Community Reeling From 'Evil Personified'
November 20, 2010:  Knox County Women, Boy Stabbed And Dismembered
November 19, 2010:  Family, Community Mourns Knox County Tragedy
November 19, 2010: New Details Released On Discovery Of Bodies
November 19, 2010: Hundreds Join Vigil For Slain Women, Boy
November 18, 2010: Remains Of Women, 11-Year-Old, Found
November 18, 2010: Clothing Found During Knox County Search
November 17, 2010:  Sheriff: Reality 3 Missing May Be Dead 'More Prevalent'
November 17, 2010: Knox Co. Search Enters Seventh Day
November 16, 2010: Suspected Kidnapper Bought Trash Bags, T-Shirt, Tarps
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