UPDATE: Amber Alert lifted, girl found safe in South Carolina - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Amber Alert lifted, girl found safe in South Carolina

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Caitlyn Virts Caitlyn Virts
Timothy Virts Timothy Virts
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A father and daughter sought in an Amber Alert were found late Friday night in South Carolina.

Police said late Friday night that Timothy Virts and his 11-year-old daughter, Caitlyn, were found at the Colonial Inn off Interstate 95 in Florence, South Carolina.

Timothy Virts was taken into police custody and Caitlyn appears to be unharmed, authorities said. 

Late Friday afternoon, Baltimore investigators say they received credible information that Virts was in North Carolina. 

Friday night, they were notified by the Florence Police Department that the Dodge Durango driven by Virtz had been located at the Colonial Motel.

Timothy Virts is awaiting extradition back to Maryland. He is charged in the murder of his ex-wife and Caitlyn's mother, Bobbie Jo Cortez.

Cortez was found dead in her Baltimore area home earlier this week.

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Timothy Virts, the man sought after an Amber Alert was issued and expanded for him and his daughter Caitlyn Virts last night, is still on the loose, police cay.

Baltimore County police say he has not been located in Maryland, and may have left the state. West Virginia State Police, as well as other agencies, followed up on leads that he may be in West Virginia, and determined they have no evidence to believe he still is or ever was in the state.

BCoPD believe Virts may be armed and that he is dangerous. If you see him or the vehicle he is believed to be driving -- a black, 1999 Dodge Durango with Maryland tag #5AJ4458 -- call 911 immediately.

Police have provided a more detailed description of the Durango. The vehicle has the following stickers affixed to its rear:

  • Upper right -- a Redskins sticker
  • Upper left -- a Ravens sticker
  • Middle left -- a Zombie stick family sticker
  • Right bumper -- a bumper sticker that reads, "Protected by Witchcraft"

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(WVVA) - An Amber Alert has been issued by the West Virginia State Police for an 11-year-old girl believed to have been abducted by her father in Maryland.

Caitlyn Marie Virts is a white female, approximately 5 feet tall, 80 pounds. She me be wearing glasses. She was last seen in Dundalk, Maryland, and is believed to be in extreme danger.

Authorities say the child was likely abducted by her father, 38-year-old Timothy Howard Virts, a 6'3" 280 pound white male.

Authorities were investigating possible ties Timothy Virts may have to the McDowell County area, but said at a Friday afternoon news conference that there was no evidence he was in West Virginia at this time.

Sgt. Christian with the Welch detachment of the West Virginia State Police said multiple agencies had been in the area as part of the investigation.

Karen Clark, manager of the Sav-A-Lot in Welch confirmed to WVVA News Friday that Timothy Virts worked as a butcher at the store from Oct. 2012 to June 2013.

Clark said Timothy Virts lived in the Roderfield area during that time.

She remembered Virts as "a bit of a loner" who kept to himself, but was a good worker who -- to her knowledge -- was never involved in any misconduct.

The two may be traveling in a 1999 black Dodge Durango truck, tag number 5AJ4458.

According to a report from NBC affiliate WBAL in Baltimore, the child's mother, Bobbie Jo Cortez, was found dead in her home earlier Thursday.

Timothy Virts was not supposed to have contact with his daughter, WBAL reports, but had been staying in the home recently.

The Durango belongs to Cortez' current husband Daniel, who is currently jailed on sex offense charges.

If you see Caitlyn or Timothy Virts, call 911 or *SP on your mobile phone immediately.

 

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Relayed by WVVA from the West Virginia State Police:
 

WE HAVE JUST RECEIVED THIS IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING AN ABDUCTED CHILD IN DUNDALK MARYLAND...BALTIMORE COUNTY. THE BALTIMORE COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR CAITLYN MARIE VIRTS...A WHITE FEMALE...11 YEARS OLD...5 FEET TALL...80 POUNDS...AND MAY BE WEARING GLASSES. THE CHILD WAS LAST SEEN IN DUNDALK MARYLAND AND IS BELIEVED TO BE IN EXTREME DANGER. UNKNOWN CLOTHING BEING WORN. AUTHORITIES ADVISE THE CHILD WAS LIKELY ABDUCTED BY THE FATHER...TIMOTHY HOWARD VIRTS...6 FEET 3 INCHES...280 POUNDS. THEY MAY BE TRAVELING IN A 1999 BLACK DODGE DURANGO TAG NUMBER 5AJ4458. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THE WHEREABOUTS OF CAITLYN MARIE VIRTS...PLEASE CONTACT THE WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE AT 304-746-2158...OR YOUR LOCAL 911...OR *SP ON YOUR CELL PHONE.

 

 

This is the full release from Baltimore police:

 

"Police have identified the victim in this morning's homicide in the 3100 block of Ardee Way in Dundalk as Bobbie Jo Cortez, 36, of the Ardee Way address.

Cortez is the mother of 11-year-old Caitlyn Marie Virts, who is missing and believed to be with her father, Timothy Howard Virts, 38. An Amber Alert issued this morning for Caitlyn remains active. Caitlyn and Timothy Virts are believed to be driving a black, 1999 Dodge Durango with Maryland license plate #5AJ4458. Please call 911 or 410-887-2020 if you see this vehicle or have any information about Caitlyn and Timothy Virts.
 
The investigation into Bobbie Jo Cortez's murder remains in its early stages. Police have confirmed the following:
 
At 9:13 a.m. this morning, Baltimore County Police and Fire personnel responded to the 3100 block of Ardee Way  for a cardiac arrest. First responders found the victim, deceased, in her bedroom. The investigation has not yet determined when Mrs. Cortez was last seen alive, though detectives have confirmed that she was alive yesterday. 
 
Detectives have also confirmed that Mrs. Cortez lived at the Ardee Way home with her three children -- Caitlyn, Caitlyn's twin sister and a son -- and with two adults whose relationships with the victim have not been verified. Also, for the past several weeks Mrs. Cortez allowed Timothy Virts to live at the home.
 
This morning, one of the occupants of the house found Mrs. Cortez, dead, in her bedroom. Police have not yet confirmed how she died.
At about the same time, the occupants of the house discovered that Caitlyn and Timothy Virts were missing, along with the Dodge Durango. An Amber Alert was issued at 10:46 a.m. Police are concerned for the safety of Caitlyn Marie Virts since she is not supposed to be with her father. 
 
The Dodge Durango is registered to Daniel Williams Cortez, 38. Cortez is the victim's husband. He currently is held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on various sex offense charges. Police do not know what, if any, relationship Cortez has with
Timothy Virtz and this homicide case.
 
Timothy Virtz is a suspect in the abduction of his daughter, Caitlyn. Police want to talk to him about the death of Bobbie Jo Cortez.
 
The victim's other two children are safe and in the custody of family members."

 

 

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