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Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: bobbie jo cortez

With assistance from the FBI, the Baltimore County Police Department's search for Caitlyn Virts and her father, Timothy Virts, broadened today to a nationwide search. Timothy and Caitlyn Virts have been missing since yesterday morning.

Updated Vehicle Description

Because Timothy Virts -- wanted on a warrant for the first-degree murder for Caitlyn's mother, Bobbie Jo Cortez -- has not been located in Maryland, police believe he may have left the state. BCoPD believe Virts may be armed and that he is dangerous. If you see him or the vehicle he is believed to be driving -- a black, 1999 Dodge Durango with Maryland tag #5AJ4458 -- call 911 immediately.

Police have provided a more detailed description of the Durango. The vehicle has the following stickers affixed to its rear:

  • Upper right -- a Redskins sticker
  • Upper left -- a Ravens sticker
  • Middle left -- a Zombie stick family sticker
  • Right bumper -- a bumper sticker that reads, "Protected by Witchcraft"

Homicide Details

Bobbie Jo Cortez was found dead yesterday morning in the bedroom of her home in the 3100 block of Ardee Way, Dundalk. About the same time Mrs. Cortez' body was discovered, occupants of the home also discovered that Caitlyn and Timothy Virtz were missing.

The state Medical Examiner has ruled Mrs. Cortez' death a homicide caused by sharp force injury.

The investigation shows that Mrs. Cortez lived at the Ardee Way home with her three children -- Caitlyn, Caitlyn's twin sister and a son -- and with two adults whose relationships with the victim have not been verified. Also, for the past several weeks Mrs. Cortez allowed Timothy Virts to live at the home.

Since an Amber Alert for Caitlyn Virts was issued yesterday morning, BCoPD has follow up on dozens of tips, none of which have panned out so far. These tips included information that Virts may have connections in West Virginia.

Today, Chief Jim Johnson urged citizens to continue to look out for Timothy and Caitlyn Virts and the Dodge Durango and to report any information as soon as possible.

Johnson said that he has directed all necessary resources to be invested in the search for Caitlyn, who police believe may be in danger since she is not supposed to be with her father. "Her safe return is the priority," he said.

Besides the FBI, the search for Caitlyn involves the U.S. Marshal's Office and law enforcement agencies throughout the region,  including the Maryland State Police.

The Dodge Durango that Virts is believed to be driving is registered to Daniel Williams Cortez, 38. Cortez is the victim's husband. He currently is held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on various sex offense charges.

Detectives do not believe that Cortez' criminal history has anything to do with Bobbie Jo Cortez' murder or Caitlyn Virts' abduction. 

Police cannot speculate on a motive for the murder, or why Virts took Caitlyn. Investigators are looking at the family relationships and any history of contact with Baltimore County Government.

Police have identified the victim in this morning's homicide in the 3100 block of Ardee Way in Dundalk as Bobbie Jo Cortez, 36, of the Ardee Way address.

Cortez is the mother of 11-year-old Caitlyn Marie Virts, who is missing and believed to be with her father, Timothy Howard Virts, 38. An Amber Alert issued this morning for Caitlyn remains active. Caitlyn and Timothy Virts are believed to be driving a black, 1999 Dodge Durango with Maryland license plate #5AJ4458. Please call 911 or 410-307-2020 if you see this vehicle or have any information about Caitlyn and Timothy Virts.

The investigation into Bobbie Jo Cortez's murder remains in its early stages. Police have confirmed the following:

At 9:13 a.m. this morning, Baltimore County Police and Fire personnel responded to the 3100 block of Ardee Way  for a cardiac arrest. First responders found the victim, deceased, in her bedroom. The investigation has not yet determined when Mrs. Cortez was last seen alive, though detectives have confirmed that she was alive yesterday. 

Detectives have also confirmed that Mrs. Cortez lived at the Ardee Way home with her three children -- Caitlyn, Caitlyn's twin sister and a son -- and with two adults whose relationships with the victim have not been verified. Also, for the past several weeks Mrs. Cortez allowed Timothy Virts to live at the home.

This morning, one of the occupants of the house found Mrs. Cortez, dead, in her bedroom. Police have not yet confirmed how she died.

At about the same time, the occupants of the house discovered that Caitlyn and Timothy Virts were missing, along with the Dodge Durango. An Amber Alert was issued at 10:46 a.m. Police are concerned for the safety of Caitlyn Marie Virts since she is not supposed to be with her father. 

The Dodge Durango is registered to Daniel Williams Cortez, 38. Cortez is the victim's husband. He currently is 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.

Photos

Caitlyn Marie Virts

Photo of Caitlyn Virts, who has been abducted.

   Photo of Caitlyn Virts, issued Maryland Child Amber Alert.

   

  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Timothy Virts

Photo of Timothy Virts, sought in child abduction case.

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