ODNR: Group of people may be responsible for woman’s death in Hocking Hills

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Part of tree that killed woman in Hocking Hills 'did not fall by natural means'

HOCKING COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says a group of people may have been responsible for a part of a tree that fell onto a Chillocothe woman, killing her on Labor Day evening while she was taking photographs at Hocking Hills near Old Man’s Cave.

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“I would say that we have information to support that the section of tree that struck the victim did not fall by natural means,” Schaad Johnson, ODNR supervisor said.

Victoria Schafer’s family told NBC4’s Tylar Bacome she was taking senior portraits of six high schoolers when the incident occurred. Her family told us investigators informed them a log came loose from a pile on a ridge above where Schafer was walking and killed her.

NBC4 pressed ODNR for more information; in their initial press release, they said a tree branch fell and killed Schafer.

” I would say at this point this is an ongoing investigation, it is developing, we are gathering information,” Johnson said. “I will say at this point that is a section of tree that had struck the victim.”

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting with the investigation.

ODNR is asking anyone who may have seen anything or anyone suspicious Monday night to call 614-799-9538.

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