SMITHSBURG, Md. (WJZ) — A days-long manhunt for a former Baltimore County police officer who kidnapped his daughters ended tragically Thursday when the former officer, a sergeant with the department and the girls were found shot dead in western Maryland, WJZ has learned.
Sources told WJZ Robert Vicosa, his 6- and 7-year-old daughters Aaminah and Gianna, and Sgt. Tia Bynum were found dead of gunshot wounds inside a sport-utility vehicle in Smithsburg after a four-day crime spree that stretched across state lines.READ MORE: Police Plead With Former Baltimore County Cop Accused In Kidnappings To Return Daughters Safely
Maryland State Police spokesperson Elena Russo said Pennsylvania State Police began a pursuit Thursday afternoon for a car that matched the description of a suspect vehicle. The vehicle was traveling south on Ringgold Pike at the Maryland-Pennsylvania Line, where Maryland State Police were waiting.
We are grieving tonight over the unfathomable loss of two innocent children in what is clearly a horrific tragedy and heinous crime.
Maryland State Police have begun what will be a thorough investigation into today’s events.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) November 19, 2021
Near Smithsburg, Maryland, the vehicle ran off the road and into a fence line, Russo said. Police then surrounded the vehicle.
Russo said state troopers were unable to make contact with anyone in the car. Around 2:30 p.m., crisis negotiators made another attempt but were unsuccessful. Responders reportedly couldn’t make out what was happening inside the car because of a “thick layer of smoke” in the interior.
Police opened the passenger-side door and found a female driver in the front and three passengers, a man and two children in the back, all with apparent gunshot wounds.
The man, woman, and one child were pronounced dead at the scene. A second child was transported to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, where she was pronounced dead.
Maryland State Police did not identify any of the occupants of the vehicle due to an ongoing investigation. Russo did not say if any officers opened fire.
Vicosa had been on the run since Monday after he allegedly attacked his estranged wife at the family’s Pennsylvania home, taking her captive and fleeing with the couple’s daughters.READ MORE: Ex-Baltimore County Cop Robert Vicosa Linked To Cockeysville Kidnapping
The former police officer, who was fired from the Baltimore County Police Department in August, was wanted on several charges including kidnapping, armed carjacking, simple assault, and robbery, according to police.
Investigators believed Vicosa was 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.
According to court documents reviewed by WJZ, Vicosa and Bynum hatched a plot over the weekend to terrorize Vicosa’s estranged spouse inside her home. The pair drugged her, tied her up and left her in the house for hours, according to court documents. Both children were in the home at the time. Vicosa and Bynum then took off with the girls, according to the court documents.
Bynum, who is suspected of helping Vicosa elude police, was wanted on a felony charge of false imprisonment. She was suspended from duty after Baltimore County Police learned of her involvement.
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.
The search for Vicosa took a new turn Wednesday when an armed carjacking was reported in the Cockeysville area. Police said Vicosa and Bynum carjacked a man at gunpoint and forced him to drive them around before eventually letting him go.
The man, who spoke exclusively with WJZ on Thursday, could not discuss much of what happened because of the active investigation.MORE NEWS: Timeline: The Search For Robert Vicosa, Ex-Baltimore County Cop Accused In Children's Abduction
“I’m just a little tired,” the man said. “I’m worried about the babies, those beautiful little girls.”