DUNDALK, Md. (WRIC)—Maryland State Police have issued an AMBER Alert for an 11-year-old girl, whose disappearance may be linked to her mother’s murder and her stepfather’s indictment for child sex abuse charges.
Caitlyn Marie Virts is thought to have been abducted by her biological father, 38-year-old Timothy Howard Virts. She was last seen around 7 a.m. Thursday in Dundalk, located in Baltimore County.
Caitlyn Virts is white, approximately 5 feet tall and weighs about 80 pounds. She may be wearing glasses. Timothy Virts is white, approximately 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 280 pounds. He is thought to be driving a black 1999 Dodge Durango bearing Maryland tags 5AJ4458.
Caitlyn’s mother, 36-year-old Bobbie Cortez, was found dead in her Dundalk home on Ardee Way on Thursday morning. Police are investigating her death as a homicide; Timothy Virts is a suspect.
According to ABC affiliate WMAR in Baltimore, Timothy Virts recently moved into the Dundalk home with Cortez, her current husband, Daniel Williams Cortez, Bobbie Cortez’ son and Caitlyn’s twin sister. Two other adults also lived in the house.
Timothy Virts’ father, Peter, told WMAR that his son has a long criminal record and had lived in a halfway house prior to moving in with his ex’s family.
Caitlyn’s stepfather, Daniel Cortez, was indicted on Wednesday for child sex abuse. He faces 11 counts, including attempted rape, perverted practices, assault, and sex abuse of a minor. Cortez, 38, is listed on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry; he also committed a forcible act of sexual conduct against a middle-school-aged child in 2009. At this time, police have not revealed whether Cortez’s most recent offenses were against Caitlyn or the other two children living in the home.
Elise Armacost, a spokesperson for the Baltimore County Police Department, said at this time it is unclear how Daniel Cortez’s sex abuse case relates to his wife’s homicide and stepdaughter’s disappearance. He is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
“We are concerned for [Caitlyn’s] safety,” Armacost said in a press conference Thursday. “We encourage people to be on the lookout for this vehicle.”
The Durango is registered to Daniel Cortez.
The other two children residing in the Ardee Way home are safe, according to police. It is not known why Caitlyn was the only child abducted.
“I’m hoping that my son Timothy will call me, and tell me where I can come pick up my granddaughter,” Peter Virts told WMAR. “And there won’t be anybody else who’ll know a thing about it, and he can go on his way.”
Anyone with information about the pair’s whereabouts is asked to call 911, #77 or the Baltimore County Police Department at 410-887-7320.