UPDATE: Missing Md. girl found, father charged with murder

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by WUSA & The Associated Press

WVEC.com

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 8 at 12:59 PM

UPDATE 3/8: Police say Caitlyn Virts was located along with Timothy Virts in a motel in Florence, South Carolina, late Friday.

Timothy Virts has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Caitlyn's mother, Bobby Jo Cortez.

The girl was found unharmed, according to a statement by the Baltimore County Police Department.

"Detectives will be traveling to South Carolina as soon as possible to continue the investigation," said Corp. John Wachter in a statement.

Virts is in police custody and will be returned to Maryland "pending an extradition process," the statement said. Police hope to return the girl home as soon as possible.

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UPDATE 3/7:  The Baltimore County Police Department in Maryland says Caitlyn Marie Virts has been found safe. Her abductor, Timothy Virts, has been taken into custody. 


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DUNDALK, Md. (AP) - Authorities are looking for an 11-year-old girl who is missing after her mother was found dead at a Baltimore County home.

Police say emergency workers called to a Dundalk home Thursday found 36-year-old Bobby Jo Cortez dead at her home in the 3100 block of Ardee Way in Dundalk, Md.. Homicide detectives investigating the slaying learned that Caitlyn Virts was missing from the home.

An Amber Alert has been issued for Caitlyn, who is believed to be with her father, 38-year-old Timothy Virts. Police are concerned for Caitlyn's safety because she is not supposed to be with him. She is described as white, 5 feet tall, weighing 80 pounds and may be wearing glasses.

Timothy Virts is described as white, 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighing 280 pounds. Police say he may be driving a 1999 black Dodge Durango with Maryland plates 5AJ4458.

Baltimore County police have confirmed the following information in Cortez's death:

At 9:13 a.m., police responded to the Dundalk home -- where Cortez lived with Caitlyn, her twin sister and a son -- for a cardiac arrest, where they found Cortez dead in the bedroom. Police have not yet confirmed when Cortez was last seen alive, but they have confirmed she was alive Wednesday.

A person at the home found Cortez dead this morning, but police have not yet confirmed a cause of death.

At roughly the same time, occupants of the home discovered that Caitlyn and Timothy were missing, along with the Dodge Durango. An AMBER Alert was issued at 10:46 a.m. and police are concerned for Caitlyn's safety because she is not supposed to be with her father.

The Durango is registered to 38-year-old Daniel Williams Cortez. Cortez is the victim's husband, police say. He is currently held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on various sex offense charges. Police do not know what, if any, relationship Cortez has with Timothy Virts and this homicide case.

Timothy Virts is a suspect in the abduction of his daughter, Caitlyn. Police want to talk to him about the death of Bobbie Jo Cortez.

The victim's other two children are safe and in the custody of family members.

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