Reward posted in Chillicothe woman’s death

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CHILLICOTHE – Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers, Inc. is posting a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in the death of 44-year old Victoria Keup Schafer of Chillicothe.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) continues to investigate the events surrounding the death of Schafer at Old Man’s Cave in Hocking County at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 2.

“There were a lot of people in the park that day, and someone knows how this happened – any information is important,” said Ernie Large, president of Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers. “We encourage anyone who saw something that day, or may have heard about someone who could have been involved to call the Crime Stoppers tip line.”

Schafer tragically lost her life during a Labor Day outing with local high school students, for whom she was taking senior pictures. In a statement, ODNR Director Mary Mertz said, “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 Sept. 2, but we still need the public’s help.”

With Crime Stoppers, Schafer’s family and community leaders are hoping this reward, and any funds added in the coming weeks through donations, will serve as incentive for someone to come forward anonymously to share what they know about this incident.

“Victoria’s death has left a void for many in our town,” said Chillicothe Chamber President Mike Throne. “We are seeking answers for the Schafer and Keup families. Knowing what happened will help the family and the community better understand why Victoria was taken from us.”

Schafer’s sister, Cathy Muth added, “Victoria did so much for so many people, yet made it look so simple and effortless. She leaves behind Fritz, her husband of 21 years and four teenagers. Our family and the community of Chillicothe needs answers about how and why this happened, and in doing so, we hope to bring awareness to prevent this senseless tragedy from ever happening to anyone else’s sister, mother, daughter, spouse, or friend.”

Tips to Crime Stoppers are completely anonymous, and can be reported by calling (740) 773-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Information may also be reported to ODNR investigators by calling (614) 799-9538. Tips can be sent online as well to or by Facebook at SouthernOhioCrimeStoppers. Additionally, a fund has been set up at the Ross County Bank for anyone interested in making a donation that will add to the $10,000 in reward monies pledged by Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers.

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