Missing Maryland girl found in South Carolina; father charged with murder

Caitlyn Marie Virts (Photo Courtesy of The Baltimore County Police Department in Maryland)
March 8, 2014 11:42:40 AM PST
An Amber Alert issued for a missing 11-year-old girl has been canceled after she was found.

Earlier Friday, the Baltimore County Police Department said Caitlyn Marie Virts and her abducter, 38-year-old Timothy Howard Virts, were believed to be in Garysburg, North Carolina, which is Northampton County.

Officials say the girl's mother was found dead in their Maryland home Thursday.

The girl, 11-year-old Caitlyn Virts, was located along with her father, Timothy Virts, in a motel in Florence, South Carolina, police said late Friday.

Police have since charged Timothy Virts with first-degree murder in the slaying of Cortez, 36.

The girl was found unharmed, according to a statement by the Baltimore County Police Department. Virts is in police custody and will be returned to Maryland "pending an extradition process," the statement said. Police hope to return the girl home as soon as possible.

"Detectives will be traveling to South Carolina as soon as possible to continue the investigation," said Corp. John Wachter in a statement.

Virts and his daughter were located at the Colonial Inn, according to local police in Florence. They first rented a room on Thursday night, said owner Carol Gause.

"They looked fine. She just walked right up with her father. I didn't notice anything," Gause said by phone from the hotel Saturday.

Gause was checking her Facebook page from the front desk around 7 p.m. Friday when she saw the Amber Alert posted by a friend and immediately recognized Virts and his daughter. She called police and officers quickly arrived. She said Virts was arrested without problems and his daughter appeared to be OK.

"I was startled, but I wasn't worried or frightened. You don't expect to ever be involved in something like this," Gause said. "But I called police and they took over."


See It On TV | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Send us photos
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook


Load Comments