For four days, Maryland police searched for the former Baltimore County Police Force and an accomplice who they said had kidnapped the police officer’s young daughters and committed several other crimes, including car theft and robbery.
On Thursday afternoon, Maryland military personnel attempted to stop a vehicle in Smithsburg, Maryland, near the Pennsylvania border, that matched the vehicle the suspects were driving, Elena Russo, a Maryland police spokeswoman, told a news conference. on Thursday evening. The car turned off the highway and crashed into a fence. The crisis management team tried to speak to those in the car, but received no response, she said.
Inside the car, the police found two adults and two children who were shot dead. Three of them were dead. According to Ms Russo, one of the children was taken to hospital and later pronounced dead.
“This is a complex incident,” said Ms Russo. “We’re really trying really hard to understand what happened.”
At the press conference, Ms Russo did not say if the police had shot at the car.
Ms Russo said the identities of those found in the car could not be revealed until notifying relatives, but added that the suspect car matches one of the earlier episodes in Baltimore County and another in Pennsylvania.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said in a tweet Thursday night: “Today we mourn the immeasurable death of two innocent children in what is clearly a horrific tragedy and heinous crime,” he said.
Authorities said the crime spree began on Monday when Robert Vikosa, a former Baltimore County police officer, held a woman captive at gunpoint and fled with his two children, according to the York District Police Department. The Baltimore Sun identified the woman as Mr. Vicosa’s ex-wife and mother of two children, ages 6 and 7.
On Wednesday, Vikosa and Tia Bynum, a ousted Baltimore County police sergeant, allegedly forced a man to take them to several locations in the Baltimore area before releasing him unharmed.
The Baltimore County Police Department said Thursday that Mr. Vikosa’s daughters were present during the robbery.
At a press conference Thursday morning, law enforcement officials pleaded with Mr. Vicosa and Ms. Bainum to return their two children safely.
Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hayat asked Mr. Vicosa and Ms. Bynum to take the children to a public safety facility or to a safe place where an adult could take care of them.
“Their well-being and safety is a priority for everyone,” Chief Hyatt said. “We know that you are tired. We want to work with you on a safe and peaceful settlement. ”
At a press conference, Chief Hyatt added that the involvement of Ms Bynum, who was assigned to the department’s criminal investigation bureau, made the search more difficult.
“I can say with confidence that when we have a situation in which police officers or former law enforcement officers are involved, our problems become serious,” she said.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Mr. Viscose was fired three months ago. It was unclear Thursday night why Ms Bynum was suspended.