Teens charged in hiker's death at Hocking Hills State Park

Posted at 11:28 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 11:37:53-04

LOGAN, Ohio — The branch that killed hiker Victoria Schafer in Hocking Hills State Park didn’t fall on its own, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday night.

Two teenagers had been arrested hours earlier and charged with reckless homicide in connection to Schafer’s Sept. 2 death. ODNR did not publicize their names or provide a more detailed account of their involvement in the incident.

ODNR agents discovered Schafer’s body on a trail near Old Man’s Cave Sept. 2. At the time, they concluded she had been fatally struck by a section of falling tree.

Later, according to a post from the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office, investigators determined the fall wasn’t a natural occurrence. Tips led detectives to the suspects.

The teenage suspects, ages 16 and 17, were taken to the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center in Lancaster, Ohio, overnight. They are expected to go in front of a juvenile judge at 1:30 p.m. Friday.