3 Mount Vernon Residents Remain Missing

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Investigators in Knox County now say their search for 3 missing people has taken a two-pronged approach. Sheriff David Barber said Monday that he’s optimistic that Tina Herrmann, Kody Maynard and Stephanie Sprang will be found alive. But he says he also has to be realistic.

People in Mount Vernon are troubled by the kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl and the disappearance of her mother, her little brother and a family friend. Resident Roxanne Roberts described Mount Vernon as a quiet town; that is, she said, until someone had to mess it up.’

“Terrible; tragedy; kids involved,” Roberts said. “It’s terrible, it’s unthinkable. You know and have a little girl found in the basement tied and gagged; she’s going to have to live that over and over and over. I don’t know I hope they find the rest of them alive and well.”

While helicopters searched from the air, people on foot scoured the grounds of Foundation Park, an old quarry on the edge of Mount Vernon. Suspect Matthew Hoffman lived nearby. It’s in his basement that law enforcement officials Sunday rescued 13-year-old Sarah Maynard. At a press conference Monday afternoon, Knox County Sheriff David Barber said he remained optimistic that the 3 others would be found. But he said he also had to be realistic.

“We still would like to have a hopeful attitude but we still have to be realistic. The amount of blood, the fact that Sarah was found with the suspect; that no one else was found there. And no one has apparently seen or heard anything out of Tina, Kody or Stephanie,” Barber said. Barber gave few details of the investigation but did say that surveillance video from area businesses was being viewed for possible sightings of the missing people.

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