Matthew Hoffman's house
Crime Scene Location in Mount Vernon, Ohio
This is Matthew Hoffman's former house.
It is located at 49 Columbus Road in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Hoffman was an unemployed loner who had an unhealthy obsession with trees—so much so that he stockpiled his home with leaves.
The 30-year-old, who had previously worked as a tree trimmer, made ends meet by collecting unemployment and burglarizing properties. However, his motivation for breaking and entering stretched beyond financial gain, as being inside other people's homes made him feel excited.
"Even if I did not take anything, there was a certain amount of excitement in being in someone else's home without them being there."
In November 2010, he began scoping out a rural house that belonged to a 32-year-old woman named Tina Herrmann. On the night of November 9th, he camped in the woods beside the property and kept watch.
The following morning, he saw Herrmann leaving. Once she was gone, he crept over to the garage door, which had been left open.
Roughly one hour later, Herrmann and her friend, Stephanie Sprang (41), returned while Hoffman was still inside the house. Hoffman claimed that he felt so surprised and "cornered" by their arrival that he panicked and stabbed the both of them to death.
As he was preparing to dispose of their bodies, Herrmann's two children, Kody (11) and Sarah Maynard (13), returned home from school. Surprised once again, he stabbed Kody to death inside the front door. Meanwhile, Sarah fled and ran up to her bedroom.
After murdering Kody, Hoffman hunted Sarah down and tied her up with some electrical cord. He then loaded the captive teenager and the three bodies into Sprang's Jeep before driving back to his residence in Mount Vernon.
Once Sarah had been secured with rope and duct tape in his basement, he proceeded to drive out to Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area near Fredericktown, where he used a pulley system to carefully place the three bodies inside a 60-foot hollow tree.
Over the course of the next 24 hours, Hoffman traveled from place to place using Sprang's Jeep, Herrmann's Ford pickup truck, and his own vehicle.
The following morning, Herrmann's boss, Valerie Haythorn, visited her house to find out why she had missed two days of work. Convinced that something wasn't right, Haythorn decided to climb in through a window at the back.
After finding a substantial amount of blood, she alerted the authorities, who immediately launched a full-scale investigation.
The speed at which the police became involved caught Hoffman off guard, as he believed that he had another day or two before someone raised the alarm.
Unaware that the property was now an active crime scene, he attempted to return and burn it to the ground. His plan was to take Herrmann's pickup truck back to the house and then set it alight. However, when he arrived at the location where he had left the truck, he was shocked to find that the police had cordoned it off.
Although one of the deputies saw Hoffman and questioned him, they had no reason to suspect that he was involved in the disappearances. Consequently, they believed his story that he was on his way to pick up his girlfriend.
During the search of Herrmann's home, detectives found a tarp and some heavy-duty garbage bags. After determining that the items had come from Walmart, they reviewed surveillance footage from the store and saw Hoffman purchasing them. They also noticed that he drove the exact same vehicle that had been parked near Herrmann's pickup truck.
Confident they had their man, they tracked down Hoffman's address and broke down his front door while he was asleep on his living room sofa.
When investigators entered the house, they saw that the walls were covered with shopping bags that had been filled with leaves.
Moments later, they discovered Sarah alive in the basement. The 13-year-old had been tied up on a makeshift bed that lay on a pile of leaves.
Following his arrest, Hoffman confessed to the triple homicide. In exchange for being spared the death penalty, he agreed to lead the police to the tree where he had hidden the bodies.
Although he claimed that he had treated Sarah well by cooking her food and allowing her to play video games, this was contradicted by the teenager, who revealed that he had sexually assaulted her.
In January 2011, Hoffman pleaded guilty to rape and murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Matthew Hoffman house address
The address and the GPS coordinates for this location are as follows:
49 Columbus Road, Mount Vernon, Ohio, OH 43050, USA
To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:
The latitude and longitude coordinates for the house are:
The house is situated close to the intersection between Columbus Road and South Madison Avenue.
Details about the general area
Mount Vernon is in Knox County, Ohio. It lies about 25 miles northeast of Columbus.
Private Property Warning
This is a private property. It is not a public place. Therefore, you should be respectful and not step foot on the property without permission.
Photos of the house and other related images.
Hoffman's house of leaves
Image source: Google Maps
This Google Street View image of Hoffman's former home was captured in May 2012—roughly 18 months after the murders took place.
Google Maps lists the property as 49 County Road 80. However, the correct address is actually 49 Columbus Road.
The house was built in 1901. It has five bedrooms and is 2,025 square feet in size. It was last sold for $75,000 in December 2021.
49 Columbus Road
This is a "then and now" image of the property.
The photograph at the top was taken shortly after the police broke down the front door and rescued Sarah Maynard. The Google Street View image at the bottom is from May 2023.
Note that the porch roof wasn't added until recent years.
The photograph on the left shows Tina Herrmann (32) and her two children, Sarah Maynard (13) and Kody Maynard (11). Stephanie Sprang (41) is pictured on the right.
Hoffman dumped the bodies of Tina, Kody, and Stephanie inside a hollow tree in Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area.
Fortunately, Sarah was rescued before Hoffman had any second thoughts about keeping her alive.
Tina Herrmann's house
Image source: Google Maps
Tina Herrmann's house was situated at 481 King Beach Drive in Howard, Ohio, which is roughly 10 miles east of Mount Vernon.
The night before the murders, Hoffman slept in a sleeping bag in the woods across from the property (yellow circle) and kept watch.
When he saw Herrmann leave the next morning, he crept across the road and gained access via the garage door at the front.
Note that the Google Street View car has yet to visit this location.
Coordinates: 40.432098, -82.337298
Using his experience as a tree trimmer, Hoffman set up a rig-and-pulley system to lift the three bodies to the top of a hollow tree and then drop them inside.
To avoid the death penalty, he agreed to lead the police to the exact location. Before agreeing to the deal, he reportedly asked them not to harm the tree.
The hole in the picture above was cut out by the recovery team.
The entire tree was chopped down a couple of days later out of respect for the family.
The police discovered Sarah Maynard in this basement. Her makeshift bed sat on a pile of leaves. Hoffman had tied the young girl's hands and legs together with a yellow rope.
The walls of Hoffman's house were lined with plastic bags that had been filled with leaves.
House of leaves
The police found a large pile of leaves in one of the rooms.
Notably, neighbors never saw Hoffman raking up leaves outside his home. Furthermore, there were only two trees on his property. This means that he spent a considerable amount of time transporting them from somewhere else.
It is unknown whether his apparent love of trees was a bizarre fetish, paraphilia, or some kind of delusion.
The three bodies were found in a hollow tree in Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area, near the intersection between Yankee Street and Waterford Road. The site in question is roughly five miles north of Fredericktown.
Note that the coordinates below are approximate.
Coordinates: 40.525370, -82.594594
There is more than one location associated with this entry. To view all of these places on the same map, you can use the following feature:
Other locations that are relatively close to this address:
Roughly 43 miles away.
Crime Location in Columbus, Ohio
Roughly 48 miles away.
Last Seen Location in Columbus, Ohio