Two teenagers have been arrested in Ohio for their alleged roles in the death of a 44-year-old mother of four, who was killed by a six-foot long log police allege was pushed off a cliff by the boys.
The two suspects are 16, and therefore have not been named by authorities. But the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office confirms in a statement both were charged with reckless homicide last week in the death of the woman, who was taking portrait photos of local high school students when she was killed.
The statement on photographer Victoria Schafer’s killing on September 2 at Hocking Hills State Park in Logan explains that a tip led to the boys’ arrests.
“Investigators were able to determine that the falling log was not a natural occurrence and continued their investigation into the incident,” reads the statement. “Detectives received information about two teenage boys who might have involvement in Schafer’s death. Investigators conducted interviews with the two individuals where they obtained a confession regarding the incident.”
The boys are being held at a juvenile detention center in Lancaster, the statement notes.
The tipster called police on October 8, after one of the two boys allegedly texted a friend about the fatal incident.
Early into their investigation, authorities determined the massive branch did not fall from a tree, but was either pushed or hurled off a cliff near Old Man’s Cave in the park.
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Appearing in court Friday, the two teens denied any involvement in Schafer’s death.
The owner of Victoria Schafer Photography, the mother was at the park photographing six high school students when the 74-pound log struck and killed her.
Schafer was an animal rights activist, according to a Facebook page created in her memory.
“Victoria loved photography, but she loved her family even more,” reads the page. “She cherished her four children and her husband, Fritz. When she wasn’t taking pictures for others, she was celebrating the beauty of her own family through her photography.”