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Police: Missing Girl's Mother Found Dead in Dundalk Home

Police said officials are concerned for the girl's safety because she is with her father, who is not supposed to be with her.

Timothy Virts, Caitlyn Marie Virts. (Credit: Baltimore County Police Department)
Timothy Virts, Caitlyn Marie Virts. (Credit: Baltimore County Police Department)

After the Baltimore County Police Department put out an Amber Alert for a missing 11-year-old girl, officials revealed her mother was found dead Thursday morning in their Dundalk home and they were concerned the girl was in danger.

UPDATE: Father of Missing Baltimore County Girl Charged in Mother's Murder

At 9:13 a.m. Thursday, officials responded to the residence where the child lived in the 3100 block of Ardee Way in Dundalk for a cardiac arrest and found Bobbie Jo Cortez, 36, deceased, according to the Baltimore County Police Department.

The woman, who was the missing girl's mother, was found dead in the bedroom in a crime scene that officials said was "violent," ABC 2 News reported.

One of the people who lived in the house found the woman dead in her bedroom Thursday morning, according to police. The cause of her death was under investigation, police said.

At approximately 10:46 a.m., police issued an Amber Alert for 11-year-old Caitlyn Marie Virts, who is one of Cortez's daughters. 

Authorities said the child was abducted from the home and may be with her father, Timothy Howard Virts, 38, in a black 1999 Dodge Durango with Maryland license plate number 5AJ4458. The father is 6'3" and 280 pounds, police said.

"Police are concerned for the safety of Caitlyn Marie Virts since she is not supposed to be with her father," according to a statement the Baltimore County Police Department issued Thursday afternoon.

Timothy Howard Virts is considered a suspect in the child's abduction, police said.

Police believe he is driving the Durango registered to Daniel Williams Cortez, 38, the deceased woman's husband, who is at the Baltimore County Detention Center on various sex offense charges, according to police.

"Police do not know what, if any, relationship Cortez has with Timothy Virts and this homicide case," Baltimore County police said.

Caitlyn Virts' twin sister and brother, who also lived in the house, were safe in the custody of other family members, police said. Two other adults lived in the residence as well, and police said Thursday afternoon that it was not clear what their relationship with the deceased woman was. "Also, for the past several weeks Mrs. Cortez allowed Timothy Virts to live at the home," police said.

Anyone with information may contact 911 or Baltimore County police at 410-307-2020.

Shannon March 07, 2014 at 07:07 AM
God save this little girl! Please bless the rest of the family in their time of sorrow and fear. What a sad story!
Jim Brown March 07, 2014 at 08:23 AM
I'm not saying the mother deserved to be killed but when you surround yourself with low life's and sex offenders one can't be surprised by the outcome. The poor kids. They just don't stand a chance in this life. Some people should just not be allowed to reproduce.
Amy March 07, 2014 at 09:03 AM
So let me get this straight- Caitlyn was not supposed to be with her father, yet her mother allowed him to live in the house?! Her brother and sister were "in the custody of other family members" and two other adults live in the home as well? What was she even doing in that house?
Carl J. Galler March 07, 2014 at 11:49 AM
I'm sorry. After reading this story, I'm just totally confused! A little better writing/editing please, Patch... Nevertheless I'm hoping for the safety of the little girl.
John March 07, 2014 at 12:53 PM
Well, let me tell you something - I firmly believe the dad will not harm the child. In his mind I think he feels that he is protecting her. As for the woman, I don't know whether he did such a thing or not. I know him, but have not seen him since he was a teen. Who knows what a person is capable of when they reach adulthood? That being said - they have spent a lot of time "protecting" the child from her father, when all along, it turns out that the stepdad is sexually abusing the kid. It is of course too early on to make summations, but from my point of view, they were protecting the child from the wrong person. I further feel that perhaps the stepdad had something to do with this, because perhaps he was trying to shut his wife up about the sexual abuse that he was committing on these children. Just because someone is in jail, it does not mean that they can be stopped from having something done. Beyond that, my prayers are 100% for the kids, because they are the true victims in all of this crap.

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