19 Oct 2023
Two teens have been arrested after they allegedly pushed a large log off of a hiking trail at a state park in Ohio that resulted in the death of a 44-year-old woman who was also in the park at the time.
AZ Central reports that the incident happened on September 2nd near Old Man’s Cave, the Hocking Hills State Park located near the Benton Township in Hocking County, Ohio. What was initially described as a 6-foot falling branch struck and killed Victoria Schafer, who had been hiking near the cave.
A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) said in a statement that park rangers found evidence that there had been people on the trail above where Schaefer was killed. Evidence also indicated that the log was either thrown or pushed down from the cliff.
Schafer was well-known in the community for her contributions to the causes that she championed. She was also the owner of Victoria Schafer Photography.
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According to a statement released by Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office, on October 8th, the Hocking County Sheriff’s Department received a tip from a classmate of one of the teens indicating that he and another teen had done something serious at the park.
Upon further investigation by the Hocking Sheriff’s investigators and rangers with the ODNR, the teens were found and taken into custody. The teens later confessed to their involvement in the incident which led to Schafer’s death.
The two will continue to be held in juvenile detention until their pre-trial hearing as serious youth offenders. A hearing was scheduled for the teens on Friday in Hocking County Juvenile Court.
No further information has been released.