MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — A 13-year-old girl missing for days was found bound and gagged but alive in a basement Sunday, and authorities hoped a man charged with kidnapping her might lead them to her mother, brother and another woman who disappeared with her.
Matthew J. Hoffman, 30, was arrested at his Mount Vernon home, where Sarah Maynard was found, Knox County Sheriff David Barber said. He said the girl was hospitalized in good condition but would give no details.
Barber did not say what led investigators to Hoffman's home, about 10 miles from the home of Sarah's family, but he said Hoffman's mother and stepfather own a house within walking distance of Sarah's, and that Hoffman listed it as a second address.
Barber said authorities hoped Hoffman would give them information leading to Sarah's mother, Tina Herrmann, her 10-year-old brother, Kody, and Herrmann's 41-year-old friend Stephanie Sprang.
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The four vanished Wednesday, and an unusual amount of blood was found at Herrmann's home in Howard.
"We were hopeful that we would find more than one" of the missing people in Hoffman's house, Barber said.
Authorities believe the girl had been "under the control" of Hoffman since Wednesday, when she and her brother last attended school, the sheriff said. He did not know whether Hoffman was connected to either Herrmann or Sprang.
Hoffman was charged with kidnapping, and Barber said more charges are expected.
Authorities blocked off about a half-block on either side of the home as they investigated early Sunday afternoon, keeping people from entering or leaving about a half dozen homes. But by late afternoon, the only sign of investigative activity was red-and-white evidence tape sealing the front door of the home closed.