The House Was Full of Blood; Then There Were Chopped up Body Parts Inside the Main Wooden Axis of The Tree

Matthew’s Bizarre House of Horrors

Tina Hermann and her children, Sarah, and Kody Maynard — image from

Valerie entered Tina’s house using the unlocked window on the back porch.

There was blood in the bathroom, on the carpet, and splatters throughout the house. But Tina, her children, and the family dog weren’t in the house.

Valerie immediately called the police.

Deputy: This is Deputy (indistinct) how can I help you?

Valerie: Yes. This is Valerie Haythorn.

I called in last night about Tina Herrmann…I am out of her house now…There’s blood everywhere.

Deputy: Okay.

Tina Lived In Ohio

Tina Herrmann was a thirty-two-year-old woman who lived in Howard, Ohio. She was a trusted employee at the local Dairy Queen restaurant. All of a sudden, she stopped showing up for work.

Tina wasn’t responding to calls and texts either. Tina’s manager, Valerie Haythorn, drove over to her house to check on her.

Tina’s car was in the driveway along with another unknown car. Tina’s house lights were on inside. But Valerie felt that something wasn’t right. So she called the police. She told them that Tina didn’t show up for work, which was unusual.

Valerie had stopped by Tina’s house and knocked on the door, but no one answered.

She left her note. Two different police officers checked Tina’s residence at different times. But no one answered the door when they knocked.

So, they left the matter unresolved.

Tina’s Children Missed School

Tina Hermann and her children, Sarah, and Kody Maynard — image from

That was until the authorities discovered that Tina’s two children, Sarah and Kody Maynard, didn’t attend school the next day. Sarah and Kody were thirteen and ten. Then the police received a call from a concerned boyfriend. The boyfriend told them that his girlfriend, Stephanie Sprang, was missing.

Stephanie was forty-one and Tina’s good friend. Stephanie was with Tina on Wednesday, 10 November 2010, before they both went missing.

Meanwhile, Valerie was very worried about Tina. She decided to take matters into her own hands.

Valerie went to Tina’s house again. She discovered that Tina’s car was no longer in the driveway. Only the other car remained.

Valerie knocked on Tina’s door, but she got no response. Without wasting another second, she entered the house through an open window on the back porch.

Valerie Was Met With a Disturbing Yet Confusing Site

There was blood in the bathroom, on the carpet, and splatters everywhere. Yet Tina and her children weren’t inside the house.

Valerie called the police. The police arrived at Tina’s house in a matter of minutes. There were four possible related disappearances: Tina, Stephanie, Sarah, and Kody.

The family dog, Tanner, was also missing. The police searched Tina’s house. The evidence they found indicated that there was assault with bodily injury.

They found blood all over the house. Blood on the stairs, in the basement, in the bathroom, on the carpet, etc.

There were blood splatters and drag marks everywhere. Then there were Walmart shopping bags with tarps and a box of trash bags in the house. The purchase receipt was still inside.

Tina’s Ex-boyfriend Was A Suspect

The first suspect was Tina’s ex-boyfriend.

Tina and her ex were in the middle of a breakup. Tina’s friends worried that he hurt her in the process. He couldn’t be trusted.

The investigators learned that Tina still lived with him after the breakup. But her ex-boyfriend was conveniently away during the time of the disappearances. Gregory Borders usually had Wednesdays off work. But he decided to work overtime at Target Distribution Center on the Wednesday of Tina’s disappearance.

Gregory told the authorities that he didn’t come back home after he clocked out.

He stayed at his friend’s house in Urbana. Gregory and his friend had planned to play golf the next day.

Gregory was informed about Tina’s disappearance by his mother on Thursday. He didn’t panic. He continued to play golf with his friend. Gregory realized the seriousness of the matter only when he returned home.

Gregory’s Alibi Was Confirmed

The police contacted Gregory’s friend. And the friend assured the authorities that he was with Gregory all that time.

They had dinner together on Wednesday before they watched TV. Then they spent the next day golfing. So Gregory was cleared as a suspect.

Meanwhile, the investigators focused on the Walmart receipt they had found. They investigated the surveillance footage from the Walmart in the area.

The receipt also showed that the suspect bought tarps, trash bags, a turkey sandwich, and a T-shirt, along with other things.

The investigators soon found their person of interest.

He was a white man aged between twenty-five and forty. He had brown hair. And he wore a camouflage shirt on the day of the purchase.

The Man Drove a Toyota Yaris

The man left Walmart in a silver Toyota Yaris.

The authorities obtained a copy of the receipt for the man’s transaction from Walmart. Then they compared the product codes to the receipt they found at the crime scene. It was a match.

The investigators searched for all the people who owned a silver Toyota Yaris in Ohio.

They soon found a name, Matthew J. Hoffman, through DMV records.

A deeper investigation into Matthew revealed that he was thirty and a tree trimmer. And he lived only ten miles away from Tina’s house.

He was once stopped by the police wearing a camouflage shirt similar to the one in the Walmart video. He was also pulled over near the area where Tina’s car was dumped. Tina’s car was discovered abandoned in a parking lot of a university.

Also, Matthew had a history of domestic violence.

The Police Conducted a No-Knock Search at Matthew’s House

The police found Matthew sleeping on his couch.

There were large piles of leaves on the floor and bags of leaves stacked up against walls.

But the biggest discovery of all was found in his basement.

Sarah Maynard found in the basement — image from EXPLORE WITH US

Tina’s daughter, Sarah, was in a sleeping bag on top of a pile of leaves in Matthew’s basement. Her feet and hands were tied with a yellow rope and also duct-taped.

Sarah wore a makeshift diaper that was made using a plastic bag. And she was confused.

Sarah stated that she was late for school. She also asked after her dog. Sarah was taken to the hospital, where she successfully recovered.

What Happened to the Three Missing People and The Dog?

Matthew was arrested and questioned.

He later admitted that he observed Tina’s home from the woods the night before the attack.

The next day, he watched as everyone left the house. Then he sneaked inside. His plan was to rob the house. But Tina and Stephanie returned home early. Then Matthew attacked and killed them. Matthew killed the family dog because it wouldn’t stop barking. Then he attacked Sarah and Kody when they got home from school.

Matthew killed Kody. Then he kept Sarah tied up.

He took Sarah with him.

He chopped up Tina, Stephanie, Kody, and the dog’s bodies. He dumped the bodies in garbage bags and placed them in a wooded area inside a hollow beech tree.

The Aftermath

The police later recovered the remains of Tina, Stephanie, Kody, and the dog.

Matthew pleaded guilty to ten counts, including murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The tree where the bodies were found was cut down.