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Keyword: social services

Photo of Rachel Pietro, charged with child abuse.The Middle River mother shown abusing her children in a viral video that surfaced on social media last week has been charged with second degree child abuse and second degree assault.

Rachel Marie Pietro, 26, of the unit block of Cool Breeze Dr., 21220, was arrested this morning by Warrant Task Force officers at a location in Essex. She is held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center. She faces two counts of each charge.

Patrol officers from the Essex precinct visited the Cool Breeze Drive home at 1:26 a.m. on March 16, after many concerned citizens forwarded to police a video showing a women repeatedly striking two young children, a boy and a girl. Officers spoke with Pietro and her husband and referred the case to the Crimes Against Children Unit.

Detectives from the Crimes Against Children Unit visited the home the next day and began an investigation.  The two children in the video, a 5-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl, as well as a 2-year-old boy who does not appear in the video -- were placed in the care of the county Department of Social Services and subsequently transferred to the care of family members.

The investigation shows that Pietro -- who initially told police the video was two years old -- recorded the video at the home on Cool Breeze Drive some time in the past two months. She said she recorded the video because she hoped it would encourage her husband to come home and take care of her. She also said she was angry with the children.

Minor injuries were documented on one of the children.

Timothy Howard Virts has waived extradition from South Carolina. BCoPD is working with South Carolina authorities on logistics involved with his return; they are uncertain exactly when that will occur.

Virts will be charged upon his return to Maryland with first degree murder in the killing of Bobbie Jo Cortez, found dead Thursday morning in her bedroom in the 3100 block of Ardee Way in Dundalk. Police believe Virts killed Bobbie Jo on Wednesday, some time before 6 p.m. Shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday, police believe, Virts fled with his and Bobbie Jo's 11-year-old daughter, Caitlyn. He and Caitlyn were located Friday evening in a motel in Florence, SC, after a nationwide search.

Homicide detectives flew to South Carolina after Virts' arrest there. Detectives continue to interview Virts, who agreed to talk to them. Details of their conversations are withheld due to the ongoing investigation.

Police continue to explore all aspects of this situation, including Virts' relationships with Bobbie Jo Cortez and their children. (Caitlyn, her twin sister and a 13-year-old brother are believed to have been at the Ardee Way home at the time their mother was killed.)

Caitlyn Virts

Police have been informed by officials at the county's Department of Health and Human Services that Caitlyn returned to Maryland Saturday evening. She was reunited with her siblings, all of whom are in the custody of social services officials.

Caitlyn appears to be unharmed physically. Baltimore County Government will provide all available resources to her and her siblings.

911 Tapes & Arrest Warrant

The 911 tapes for this call are being withheld due to the ongoing investigation.

The arrest warrant charging Timothy Virts with first degree murder is not yet public because it has not been served. Virts will be served with the warrant upon his return to Maryland.

 
 
Revised September 27, 2016