TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — The search for a former Baltimore County police officer accused of kidnapping his daughters from their Pennsylvania home has led back to Maryland, authorities confirmed Thursday.
Robert Vicosa, who’s wanted on a list of charges related to his daughters’ abduction, is suspected of carjacking a man at gunpoint Wednesday in Cockeysville and forcing the man to drive him around to places around the area before setting him free.READ MORE: DEVELOPING: Vehicle Driven By Robert Vicosa Reportedly Found In Western Maryland
Investigators believe Vicosa is getting assistance from Tia Bynum, a Baltimore County police sergeant and close friend who has been suspended from duty in response to her involvement in the case.
“These suspects who were armed with a handgun carjacked an individual, forcing him to drive these two suspects throughout several different locations across the Baltimore metropolitan area. This victim was later released unharmed,” Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said.
(9:33 a.m.) Robert Vicosa committed the kidnapping that occurred in the Cockeysville area. He was armed w/ a semi-automatic handgun and accompanied by Tia Bynum & 2 young girls. Vicosa & Bynum are wanted and considered armed & danger . The safety of the children is a priority. pic.twitter.com/47FonN8Sl9
— Baltimore County Police Department (@BaltCoPolice) November 18, 2021
Chief Hyatt said both Vicosa and Bynum are considered armed and dangerous, and she discouraged the public from approaching either of them if they’re spotted. Instead, she said, people should call police.
Vicosa has been on the run since Monday after he allegedly attacked his estranged wife at the family’s York-area home, taking her captive and fleeing with the couple’s 6- and 7-year-old daughters, Aaminah and Giana. Despite several sightings since then, Vicosa remains on the loose.
The former police officer, who was fired from the Baltimore County Police Department in August, faces several charges including kidnapping, armed carjacking, simple assault, and robbery, according to police.
Bynum, who is suspected of helping Vicosa elude police, is charged with false imprisonment.
She became part of the investigation after Vicosa’s phone was traced to her home. Police said Bynum was “less than forthcoming” during an interview Monday, and she would not let them search her home. When police returned to Bynum’s home Tuesday, they found she and her vehicle were gone.
During Thursday morning’s news conference, Chief Hyatt made a direct appeal to Bynum to do what she can to ensure no harm comes to Vicosa’s daughters.
“Tia, our priority is the safety and wellbeing of Gianna and Aaminah,” Hyatt said. “Please, get these two innocent and precious children to a safe location. You can drop them off at a public safety facility or any other safe location with a responsible adult to care for them.”
“We know that you are tired. We want to work with you on a safe and peaceful resolution,” she added.
It’s unclear where Vicosa’s daughters were during Wednesday’s carjacking. Police said the children have been sighted multiple times over the past few days, but they declined to release any other details, citing the active and “fluid” investigation.
Hyatt did, however, acknowledge that Bynum’s involvement has complicated the search.
“You know, I can certainly say that when we have a situation that involves police officers or former law enforcement officers, our challenges are significant, but I do believe that both Bynum and Vicosa will do the right thing, which is again the priority for all of us of bringing these two children to safety,” she said.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the children, Vicosa or Bynum is asked to call 911.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) November 18, 2021