Two 16-year-old boys were arraigned Friday on charges of reckless homicide for the Labor Day death of an Ohio photographer who was killed by a 75-pound log pushed over a cliff at Hocking Hills State Park.
Victoria Schafer, 44, was taking senior photographs for a group of students near the Old Man’s Cave section of the park when the 6-foot log hit her, according to WLTW5. Investigators indicated early on they did not believe the incident was a natural occurrence, saying they had seen evidence of someone at the top of the cliff.
The two boys reportedly confessed to police they had pushed the log off the cliff, the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office said, but court documents indicated they denied the charges at their arraignment, according to the Chillicothe Gazette.
According to ABC6 On Your Side, the Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that investigators received a tip on October 8 that one of the boys “sent text messages to a classmate stating he did something serious at the park with another juvenile.” The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Hocking County Sheriff’s Department arrested the teens on Thursday, and the prosecutor’s office also said they admitted their involvement in pushing the log over the cliff.
The boys, from Logan, are being held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Lancaster, Ohio. The case was continued for pretrial, and the boys are expected to remain in custody at least through the weekend.
Schafer, mother of four children aged 13 to 19, was the owner of Victoria Schafer Photography in Chillicothe.
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[Featured image: Victoria Schafer/Facebook]