An Amber Alert went out Thursday morning for 11-year-old Caitlyn Marie Virts of Dundalk, Maryland who vanished from her home — the same house on the 3100 block of Ardee Way where police Thursday found the girl’s mother dead.
When police received a report of someone in cardiac arrest at the address at around 9:15 am Thursday, they showed up to find 36-year-old Bobbie Jo Cortez dead. The woman was the mother of Amber Alert subject Caitlyn Virts.
The death of Bobby Jo Cortez is being investigated as a murder, though no cause of death has yet been made public. But when homicide detectives were conducting their initial investigation, they figured out that there was one person missing from the house, which had six occupants. Cortez lived their with her three children, Caitlyn and a twin sister, as well as a boy, Cortez’s son.
The home also had two other adults living there, but police have not said what the relationship between the other two adults and the dead woman may be. However, when they found that Caitlyn Virts was missing, they put out the Amber Alert.
Another reason for the Amber Alert is that Caitlyn, who weighs about 80 pounds and stands five feet tall, is believed to have been snatched by her father, 38-year-old Timothy Virts.
According to police in West Virginia, which is also covered by this Amber Alert, Caitlyn was last seen at about 7 am on Thursday in the company of her father. At the time, the elder Virts — who is 6’3″ and 180 pounds — was driving a 1999 black Dodge Durango with a MD tag of 5AJ4458.
The Dodge Durango that is the subject of the Amber Alert is registered 38-year-old Daniel William Cortez, who is the husband of the deceased woman.
Daniel Cortez is currently facing sex offense charges and is being held in Baltimore County Detention Center. How this all fits in with the Amber Alert apparent abduction of Cortez’s stepdaughter is something police are still trying to sort out.
West Virginia police said that Timothy Virts is a suspect in the slaying of Bobbie Jo Cortez. He was reportedly staying in the house where she died, but is not supposed to be in the sole care of his daughter. Virts also has a history of drug and assault charges.
Because police fear for the safety of Caitlyn Virts as long as she is with her father, they issued the Amber Alert.
Image: Baltimore County Police