Two teens have been arrested in the death of an Ohio photographer who was taking senior portraits when she was killed, according to Fox 8 Cleveland.
Victoria Schafer, 44, “was killed by a falling tree branch on Sept. 2 near Old Man’s Cave in the Hocking Hills State Park,” the Chillicothe Gazette reported.
On Labor Day, Schafer reportedly was shooting portraits for six high school seniors when the accident happened.
“We understand that maybe it was an accident. It was not a malicious act. But just knowing and being able to put that away would be helpful,” Schafer’s sister Cathy Muth told ABC 6. “We are not out for vengeance. We just want to know what happened, and we want to prevent it from happening again.”
Officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) investigated Schafer’s death and discovered it was “not a natural occurrence,” Fox 8 reported.
ODNR officials arrested a 16- and 17-year-old on Thursday after determining “the six-foot log was pushed or thrown off the cliff,” Chillicothe Gazette said. Officials say text messages were obtained that showed one of the arrested teens indicating he did something “serious” with another teen at the park, according to the newspaper.
The male teens were interviewed by the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office where they confessed to being responsible for Schafer’s death, according to police, which have not identified the suspects because of their ages.
Both are charged with reckless homicide, police say.
“They were transported to the Multi County Juvenile Detention Center where they will await court proceedings,” the department wrote on Facebook.