Maryland girl missing after mother's murder found with father
TOWSON, Maryland (Reuters) - An 11-year-old girl who was missing from a Baltimore-area home where her mother was killed has been found at a South Carolina motel with her father, who was arrested on murder and flight charges, police said on Friday.
The suspect, Timothy Virts, 38, went missing with his daughter, Caitlyn Virts, on Thursday after last being seen in Dundalk, Maryland, police said.
After a nationwide search, the pair was found some 450 miles away in Florence, South Carolina.
Caitlyn appears to be unharmed and her father was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, said Baltimore County police.
"The return of Timothy Howard Virts is pending an extradition process. Caitlyn Virts will be returned home as soon as possible," police said in a statement.
Virts was wanted in connection with the death of Bobbie Jo Cortez, 36, Caitlyn's mother. Police found Cortez dead in her bedroom with multiple cut wounds to her upper body.
An autopsy showed she died of "sharp-force injury," police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said.
Police have said they were concerned about Virts' safety since she was not supposed to be with her father, but he was not likely to face kidnapping charges, police said.
Cortez had lived at the Dundalk home with Caitlyn, her twin sister and a son and with two adults with unverified relationships with the mother, police said in a statement.
The other two children are safe and in the custody of family members, they said.