Family Members Relieved After Abducted Dundalk Girl Found Safe In S.C.
DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — The Amber Alert is over for 11-year-old Caitlyn Virts. She and her father, Timothy Virts, were just found in South Carolina–alive.
Caitlyn is safe and her father is in custody.
Mike Hellgren spoke to family members following the news.
Caitlyn’s maternal grandfather did not want to talk about the details about how Caitlyn was found, but did say the family was relieved.
Mike Cortez also spoke with WJZ. He is the brother-in-law of Caitlyn’s mother.
“Yes it is. I’m very relieved,” Cortez said. “This has been very upsetting. When I found out that my sister-in-law was murdered, I just started crying. And my niece was kidnapped. I was just at a loss for words. And now that they’ve been found, it’s just… I’m so happy.”
After almost two days, police say they have now found Timothy Virts and his 11-year-old daughter Caitlyn.
Police say he fled after Caitlyn’s mother, Bobbie Jo Cortez, was found stabbed to death inside their home in Dundalk.
Bobbi Jo’s father pleaded for his granddaughter’s safe return.
“I’d like to tell him to bring her home and turn himself in,” Daniel Wallace said.
Questions remain about Virts’ motive. Police say Bobbi Jo’s new husband, a man named Daniel Cortez, had been living at the home and had recently been jailed for sexual abuse of a minor.
Her father doesn’t think that’s behind the abduction or the death of Bobbie Jo.
“Maybe he wanted money. Because he took her credit cards and he took her bank books and everything. He took everything out of her wallet,” Wallace said.
But Lisa LaFage said she had a relationship and children with Cortez, who is on the sex offender registry. She knew both Bobbie Jo and little Caitlyn and says the abuse allegations troubled her deeply.
“I pray for her every day. I pray for her so hard. My mom don’t even know her, but mom is heartbroken,” LaFage said.
And now it appears the search is over.
“I am so grateful for everybody’s help, everybody that was watching the Amber Alert and for everybody to do everything for us,” Mike Cortez said.
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