Two teens arrested, charged in connection with death of photographer in Hocking Hills State Park


LOGAN, Ohio (WCMH) — Two teenagers are facing charges in connection with the death of a photographer last month in Hocking Hills State Park.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old have been arrested Thursday and charged with reckless homicide in the death of 44-year-old Victoria Schafer.

“I appreciate the public’s valuable contributions to this case and the perseverance and determination of the investigators,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said in a press release.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 2, Schafer was on the stairs near Old Man’s Cave when a section of falling tree struck her. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

According to ODNR, investigators found evidence that suggested the falling section of tree was not a natural occurrence.

Because the suspects are juveniles, their names are not being released at this time. The teenagers are being held at a juvenile detention center in Lancaster.

ODNR is continuing to investigate the incident along with the Hocking County Prosecutor, Hocking County Sheriff’s Office, Hocking County Coroner, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio State Highway Patrol, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers.

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