Search for kidnapped children halted traffic, fired shots and killed 4
For four days, Maryland police were searching for a former Baltimore County police officer and a female accomplice who said they had kidnapped the officer’s young daughters and committed several other crimes, including carjacking and robbery.
On Thursday afternoon, Maryland state troops attempted to stop a vehicle in Smithsburg, MD, near the Pennsylvania border, in which the suspects were traveling, Maryland State Police spokeswoman Elena Russo said at a news conference. on Thursday night. The vehicle overturned from the highway and hit the fence. A crisis-negotiating team tried to speak to people inside the vehicle but got no response, she said.
Inside the vehicle, police found two adults and two children, who were all shot. Three of them were dead. One of the children was taken to hospital and later pronounced dead, Ms Rousseau said.
“It’s a complicated event,” Ms Rousseau said. “We’re really trying hard to understand what happened.”
At the news conference, Ms Rousseau did not say whether police had opened fire on the vehicle.
Ms Russo said the identities of those found in the vehicle could not be released, pending notification of relatives, but added that the suspected vehicle was involved in an earlier episode in Baltimore County and another in Pennsylvania.
“We are saddened tonight at the immeasurable loss of two innocent children in what is clearly a horrific tragedy and heinous crime,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said in a Twitter post Thursday night.
According to the York Area Regional Police Department, the spate of crimes began Monday, officials said, when former Baltimore County Police Officer Robert Vicosa held a woman captive at gunpoint and fled with her two children. The Baltimore Sun identified the woman as Mr. Vicosa’s estranged wife and mother of two children, ages 6 and 7.
On Wednesday, Mr. Vicosa and Tia Bynum, a suspended Baltimore County Police Sergeant, are believed to have driven a man to several locations in the Baltimore area before releasing them without harm. force to.
The Baltimore County Police Department said Thursday that Mr. Vicosa’s daughters were present during a robbery.
At a news conference on Thursday morning, law enforcement officers requested Mr. Vikosa and Ms. Bynum to return the two children safely.
Baltimore County Police Department Chief Melissa Hyatt told Mr Vikosa and Bynum to leave the children at a public safety facility or a safe place where an adult could care for them.
“Their well-being and safety is everyone’s priority,” Chief Hyatt said. “We know you are tired. We want to work with you on a safe and peaceful solution.”
At the news conference, Chief Hyatt said the involvement of Ms Bynum, who was assigned to the department’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, was complicating the search.
“I can say with certainty that when we have a situation that involves police officers, or former law enforcement officers, our challenges are significant,” she said.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Mr Viscosa was fired three months ago. It was not clear on Thursday night why Ms Bynum was suspended.
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