WASHINGTON, D.C.(WJZ) — For two and a half years, no one has seen Sarah and Jacob Hoggle. The children’s mother remains locked up in a Howard County mental facility.
WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren was there as she faced a judge, and some upset family members on Monday morning.
Catherine Hoggle said nothing in court, while family members are keeping up hope that her children will be found.
Psychiatrists say Catherine Hoggle is making progress on her mental health, but not enough to be considered legally competent to stand trial for the disappearance of her young daughter, Sarah, and son, Jacob, more than two years ago.
This news outrages their paternal grandmother, who came to court with her bible and a stack of missing flyers. She believes the children’s rights are being sacrificed to protect their mother.
“It hurts all of us to the core who love the children, and nobody is doing anything,” says the children’s paternal grandmother Debbie Beckward.
“This is all about Catherine, and that’s what gets me. It’s all about her,” she says.
“Every day I think ‘what a dream’ and then wake up and realize it’s the truth,” says Lindsey Hoggle, Catherine’s mother. Catherine Hoggle’s mother watched her daughter in the courtroom.
Catherine Hoggle’s mother watched her daughter in the courtroom.
“It’s also hard to see your daughter in handcuffs. So it’s just hard for me to process,” says Lindsey Hoggle.
“I still believe that Sarah and Jacob are out there as Catherine says they are, so we just need to keep working on that.”
Catherine disappeared with the two children in September 2014. She’s given various stories about what she did with them, despite dozens of searches they appeared to vanish without a trace.
“This is not a proceeding that is intended or can result in the location of the children or descriptions of the children,” says Catherine Hoggle’s lawyer, David Felsen.
“There has been some progress towards competency. The doctors are hopeful they’ll be able to do that,” he says.
Until then, for loved ones, it’s a heart-wrenching wait for answers.
“The mother, who is locked up, so to speak she’s got all her rights. She’s on the internet. She’s doing whatever. Yeah, it’s unbelievable,” says Beckward.
Hoggle is next scheduled to appear in court for a progress report in July.