A 79-year-old Ohio farmer shot and killed a woman who was lying on his field on Monday, apparently mistaking her head for a groundhog.
22-year-old Natasha G. Stover was an employee on the farm in Phila. She was lying on the field when the man fired a single shot with a long rifle, mistaking, he said, her head for an animal nuisance.
Stover was apparently shooting a BB gun at a target about 150 to 200 away from the man.
The shooter promptly called 911, according to Stark County newspaper the Canton Rep. The Brewster Fire Department took the woman to a local hospital, where she died the following day from a gunshot wound to the head.
Sheriff George T. Maier said the shooting appeared to be accidental, and that no charges have been filed.
According to the woman’s parents, Greg and Rhonda Stover, the family is close friends with the shooter and knows he is grieving just as much as them.
Stover was a creative spirit who loved the outdoors and working with animals. She had worked on the Sugar Creek Township farm for a year and a half, where she milked 70 cows and cared for the calves.
“She had a lot of gifts and did a lot of things,” said mother Rhonda Stover.
Stover graduated in 2010 from a homeschooling education. She was an active member of her local Christian community.
The family will be holding a funeral service on Friday at a New Philadelphia Methodist church.