ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Missing for months. Two Montgomery County toddlers disappear with their mentally ill mother, who insists they’re alive but refuses to say where they are.
Jessica Kartalija meets the children’s father at their favorite playground as he talks about his determination to bring them home.
Two Montgomery County toddlers–missing for two months.
“My kids are out there, I’m going to find them,” said Troy Turner, their father.
After intense searches, hundreds of volunteers, countless flyers–where are Sarah and Jacob Hoggle?
“This is a situation where the community is gravely concerned for the welfare of these children,” said Roman Korionoff, spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Two-year-old Jacob and three-year-old Sarah disappeared in early September with their mother, Catherine Hoggle.
After days of searching, police found Hoggle alone and arrested her. She’s now charged in the abduction, but refuses to say where the children are.
Their father, Troy Turner, is determined to find them.
Kartalija: “You’re convinced they’re alive—what are your thoughts when people are going into the woods and searching for them?”
Turner: “First of all, no news is good news. Secondly, that needs to be eliminated so people can focus on finding my babies instead of some corpses.”
Turner opened up to WJZ about his life with his former girlfriend—the children’s mother—and when he first noticed a dangerous change in her behavior.
“Initially it was just mood swings when she was pregnant, which was hardly anything to notice. Then, there were things like accusations, things that weren’t true—that made no sense at the time. It seemed to get worse with each pregnancy,” said Turner.
About a year ago, Turner made a drastic decision to protect his children from their own mother.
Kartalija: “At what point did you realize that psychologically something was off?”
Turner: “I felt like the decisions she was making weren’t safe for the children, weren’t safe for her. We went ahead and filed an emergency evaluation and she was committed up in Towson.”
Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, she’s allowed to visit her children, but Turner warned friends and family to never leave Hoggle alone with them.
One day this past September, his worst nightmare came true.
“One of the family members who was supposed to be there that day apparently let her go with one of my children. I was told they were at day care,” said Turner.
But they weren’t. Now, Hoggle sits in a psychiatric cell in Jessup, insisting her children are still alive, but refusing to tell police where they are.
Months of questioning, and still no answers. Now, police and the state’s attorney are building a murder case against her, but desperately hoping the children are found alive.
“Family and friends of the Hoggles and of the Turners are continuing their searches. Investigators have continued looking for the kids… the most important thing in this investigation—find the children,” said Korionoff.
Kartalija: “When you get up—are you sad, are you angry, are you scared?”
Turner: “I’m constantly sad, I’m constantly angry, I’m constantly scared because I don’t know where they are, I don’t know who has them, I don’t know how they’re being treated. My one job as a father is to protect my kids. I made apparently a choice that didn’t allow me to do that—so now it’s my job to find them.”
Hoggle is charged with abduction and hindering an investigation. Doctors are evaluating her mental state.
If you know anything about the Hoggle children or the case, please call Montgomery County Police at 240-773-5070.
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