TW: mentions of death and crime; Victoria Schafer was a photographer taking senior portraits near the picturesque background of a waterfall near an area called Old Man’s Cave at Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio over Labor Day weekend when she was struck by a falling log and killed. Now two teens have been arrested and charged with reckless homicide after it was alleged that they pushed the log over the cliff.
The six-foot log was estimated to have weighed approximately 74 pounds. Schafer, a 44-year-old mother of four teenagers, died at the scene. Although originally thought to be an accident, investigators soon discovered that the log didn't fall on its own. In a statement, the Hocking Country Sheriff's Office stated that upon further investigation they were able to obtain a confession in relation to the incident from two 16-year-old boys.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources had discovered that there was no way the log had fallen naturally, and recently the mother of a classmate of one of the juvenile's charged called into a tip line set up to help gather information about the incident. “The caller indicated one of the juveniles sent a text message to a classmate (stating) that he had done something serious at the park with another kid,” Jorden Meadows, assistant Hocking County prosecutor told The Marietta Times.
Meadows stated that she couldn't comment on whether the teens were aware there was someone standing under the cliff when they forced the log over and that the case remains under investigation. Additional charges could be filed dependent on what the investigation discovers.
Hocking County Prosecutor Benjamin Fickel told ABC 6 that the investigation is ongoing. “The fact that people in our community knew that there were people in our community involved in this makes it very frustrating,” said Fickel. “Clearly should have known better than to throw a 74-pound log off a cliff or to push it off a cliff. Whether there was any intention to hurt anyone I really don’t know, I can't speak to that with the information that we have,” Fickel added.
“We are still working on what they were thinking, why they did this, what they knew. Those are the hard things we are still trying to figure out. It is difficult to reach any kind of closure if you don’t know why. If you can’t say why this happened to one of your loved ones,” said Fickel.
DEVELOPING: A 16 & 17-year-old have been arrested and charged with reckless homicide in the death of a photographer https://t.co/3tJp8zTNje— WSYX ABC 6 (@wsyx6) October 11, 2019
Schafer, who is survived by her husband of 21 years Fritz and their children, John, 19, Emily, 17, Maddie, 16, and Grace, 13 will be remembered for her "generosity and kindness," her sister Cathy Muth told TODAY. "It is impossible to walk through Chillicothe, Ohio without running into someone who has a story to tell about something Victoria did for them," Muth explained. "How kind she was to them, or how good she made them feel."