crimesider

Missing Ohio Girl Sarah Maynard Found; 3 People Still Missing, Police Collect Evidence from Park

A 13-year-old girl missing since Wednesday was found safe over the weekend in a home near Columbus, Ohio, but authorities are still searching for three people who disappeared with her. Sarah Maynard is seen here.
CBS/WBNS
Missing Ohio Girl Sarah Maynard Found; Police Gather Bags of Evidence from Nearby Park
Sarah Maynard (CBS/WBNS)

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (CBS/WBNS) Crime scene investigators have begun removing bags of evidence from the park located a few blocks from where 13-year-old Sarah Maynard was found, bound, gagged and held against her will in the basement of an Ohio home.

PICTURES: Missing Ohio Girl Found, Search for Others Continues

Sarah was found alive on Sunday, four days after disappearing with her brother Kody, her mother Tina Hermann and Hermann's friend Stephanie Sprang, who are all still missing.

On Monday morning, Mount Vernon police cruisers blocked off a public park with a lake a few blocks from suspect Matthew J. Hoffman's home, where Sarah was found, because an officer patrolling overnight had found what he thought was bloody clothing potentially related to the investigation, police Capt. George Hartz said. But tests did not find any human blood on the clothing, he said.

The city reopened the park at mid-morning, only to have it closed again a half-hour later by county and state authorities so they could search the lake with a boat equipped with sonar, Hartz said.

CBS affiliate WBNS reports that shortly after, crime scene investigators were seen carrying large bags of evidence from the park, one of which was reportedly  two-feet long.

Authorities believe Sarah had been "under the control" of Hoffman since Wednesday, when she and her brother last attended school, Knox County Sheriff David Barber said. He did not know if Hoffman was connected to either Herrmann or Sprang, but said he is not the ex-boyfriend of either woman.

Herrmann was reported missing Wednesday when she did not show up for work at a local Dairy Queen. Barber has said blood indicating an injury had been found in her home, where Sprang's vehicle was in the driveway.

Herrmann's pickup truck had been found Thursday night near the Kenyon College campus, leading to a lockdown at the school.

Barber said that special attention was being paid to blood that was found inside Herrmann's home. Barber called the amount of blood "unusual."

"It is obvious that someone was injured in the house," Barber said.

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

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

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

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Knox County Sheriff's Office at 740-397-3333.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF SARAH MAYNARD CASE