Caitlyn Virts, the 11-year-old Maryland girl who had disappeared after her mother was found dead has been located. Caitlyn was found with her father Timothy Virts in a motel in Florence, South Carolina. The owner of the motel, Carol Gause called the police after a motel employee identified the duo following a nationwide Amber Alert.
Caitlyn and her father Timothy were missing since Thursday, March 6 – on the day the body of the child’s mother, Bobbie Jo Cortez, was found at her home at Dundalk by Caitlyn’s twin sister. Bobbie was found dead with multiple cut wounds to her upper body, according to the NY DailyNews. The 36-year-old Cortez was living with her three children, Caitlyn and a twin sister, as well as a boy, Cortez’s son. Earlier reports also said there were other adult members living in the same house. These people were later confirmed to be Bobbie’s father Daniel Wallace and two other friends. Timothy Virts, has been since then charged with first-degree murder of Bobbie Jo Cortez. The 6’3″, 180 pound Timothy is now in police custody and would be returned to Maryland after the extradition process is completed, says a statement issued by the Baltimore County Police Department. Caitlyn would also be reunited with her family soon, the statement added.
Timothy and Caitlyn had checked in to the Colonial Inn Motel at Florence South Carolina on Thursday night, according to Gause. There are conflicting reports on what happened next. According to The Chicago Tribune, it was Gause herself who read about the Amber Alert and called the police. Another version by The Baltimore Sun says that it was a motel employee that saw the Amber Alert on her Facebook following which the owner of the motel was informed. Nevertheless, Gause called the police immediately and they arrived within minutes. Timothy didn’t put up much resistance and surrendered immediately. Caitlyn was found to be OK as well.
Daniel Wallace, the father of Bobbie Jo Cortez, thanked the police for helping them find his granddaughter. Caitlyn’s grandmother, Cortez’s mother Anna Trainor Goodwin, was overjoyed to learn about Caitlyn’s safe discovery. The police on their part have credited the nationwide Amber Alert issued immediately after the girl’s disappearance for being the reason she was traced this fast.
Ever since Caitlyn Virts’ disappearance, the Police were on the lookout for a black 1999 Dodge Durango with Maryland tag 5AJ4458 in which both Timothy and Caitlyn were believed to be traveling in. This vehicle is under the ownership of one Daniel Williams Cortez, who is married to Bobbie Jo and is serving a prison sentence since December 2014 on sex offense charges. Following the issuance of the Amber Alert, there were multiple reports about the sighting of this vehicle in North Carolina. Before the police were able to home in on the vehicle, they received the all-important phone call from Gause. The vehicle was found near the motel premises as well, enabling the police to reaffirm that the people who there were on the lookout for had finally been located.
[Image Via: WJLA TV Screenshot]