Ten Thousand Dollar Reward Offered in Hocking Hills Death Investigation

Authorities say the death of 44-year-old Victoria Schafer in Hocking Hills State Park earlier this month was likely not an accident. Now, there's a big reward offered for information leading to arrests and convictions in the case.

Sep 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm
click to enlarge Victoria Schafer - Facebook/Friends of Victoria Schafer
Facebook/Friends of Victoria Schafer
Victoria Schafer

Authorities are searching for clues regarding the death of a hiker over Labor Day weekend in Hocking Hills State Park — and information that leads to an arrest and conviction in that case could mean a big reward.

Officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources say they have evidence suggesting that a portion of a tree that fell on 44-year-old Victoria Schafer of Chillicothe Sept. 2 was not due to a natural occurrence. Schafer was on the steps near a popular destination called Old Man's Cave about 5:30 p.m. that day when the tree section fell on her from a cliff above.

Now, Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers is offering $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the incident. Schafer's loved ones have also set up a Facebook group where people can go to provide information or offer support. 

ODNR is leading the investigation into the incident with help from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Hocking County Sheriff's Department. Anyone with information about Schafer's death should call 614-799-9538.

“We want every visitor to our state parks to have a safe and enjoyable experience," ODNR Director Mary Mertz said in a news release. "Our investigation is ongoing so that we gain a clear understanding of the events that led to the tragic death of Mrs. Schafer. We appreciate everyone who has reached out with information about what they saw on September 2, but we still need the public’s help.”