Ohio teens arrested after falling log kills mother of 4: 'She always had a heart for others'

"Her talent lied in seeing the best in others and helping to bring it out in them."
Victoria Shafer with her husband, Fritz, and four children: John, Emily, Maddie and Grace.
Victoria Shafer with her husband, Fritz, and four children: John, Emily, Maddie and Grace.Victoria Schafer Photography

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/ Source: TODAY
By Ronnie Koenig

Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with the death of an Ohio photographer and mom of four. Victoria Schafer, 44, was in a state park photographing high school seniors on Labor Day weekend when a 74-pound log fell 75 feet off a cliff, hitting and killing her.

"Victoria always had a heart for others," her sister, Cathy Muth, told TODAY in an emailed statement. "Whether it was her work in human resources or her photography, her talent lied in seeing the best in others and helping to bring it out in them."

Her death leaves behind her husband of 21 years, Fritz, and four children: John, 19, Emily, 17, Maddie, 16, and Grace, 13.

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"She picked up photography — as most parents do — when she started a family."Victoria Schafer Photography

Schafer owned her own photography business.

"Victoria became a photographer after spending several years in the corporate world," Muth explained. "She picked up photography — as most parents do — when she started a family. She had an artistic and creative ability all her life, and I think photography was her way of expressing that talent. It was a hobby that became a career opportunity for her, which she took."

"It is impossible to walk through Chillicothe, Ohio without running into someone who has a story to tell about something Victoria did for them."

Now, eyewitness tips have led to the arrest of two 16-year-old boys, whose names are not being released due to the fact that they are minors. The Hocking County Sheriff's Office posted an update to its Facebook page this past Thursday, sharing details in the case.

"On Monday, September 2nd, Hocking County Sheriff’s Office detectives assisted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources investigate the death of Victoria Schafer, 44 of Chillicothe, who was killed by a falling section of a tree while on the stairs near Old Man’s Cave," began the post, referring to the area of Hocking Hills State Park where Schafer was working.

"Investigators were able to determine that the falling log was not a natural occurrence and continued their investigation into the incident. Detectives received information about two teenage boys who might have involvement in Schafer's death. Investigators conducted interviews with the two individuals where they obtained a confession regarding the incident. Two 16-year-old males were taken into custody on Thursday, October 10th, and charged with reckless homicide."

"Whether it was her work in human resources, or her photography, her talent lied in seeing the best in others and helping to bring it out in them."Victoria Schafer Photography

On how she will be remembered, her sister says for her "generosity and kindness."

"It is impossible to walk through Chillicothe, Ohio without running into someone who has a story to tell about something Victoria did for them," Muth explained. "How kind she was to them, or how good she made them feel."