Posted in crime, homicide, homicide investigation, justice, kidnapped

Sheriff Calls Kidnapped 13-Year-Old Girl ‘Epitome of Bravery’

"She’s a very brave little girl," said Barber. "Not only is she assisting in the investigation, under the circumstance, a 13-year-old being held captive for [five] days, I’d call her the epitome of bravery."

He said Sarah was taken from her home in Howard, Ohio, along with her 10-year-old brother Kody, her mother Tina Herrmann, 32, and family friend Staphanie Sprang, 41, last Wednesday. Police reported that beer cans littered the blood splattered house. Barber said DNA test are ongoing and would not speculate whose blood it was.

"Four people left that house, not under their own power," said the sheriff.

A police dive team retrieved a sedan from a pond at Foundation Park, located steps away from the home of suspected kidnapper Matthew Hoffman.

Sarah was rescued by a police SWAT team Sunday. Police found the girl alone. Hoffman, 31, and a convicted arsonist ,was arrested and charged with kidnapping.

Despite the girl’s efforts to help police in their investigation, they fear Sarah’s little brother, mother and a family friend who disappeared at the same time may be dead.

"We still would like to retain a hopeful attitude, but we have to be realistic," Knox County Sheriff David Barber said.

Sarah was released from the hospital and has been reunited with family members. "Physically, she is fine," Barber said. "Obviously she has been through a lot."

ABC news

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