Amber Alert: Caitlyn Virts found in South Carolina, father in custody

Amber Alert: Caitlyn Virts found in South Carolina, father in custody

A nationwide hunt ended Friday night when Caitlyn Marie Virts, the 11-year-old girl missing since her mother was found killed in their home on Thursday, was located in a motel room in South Carolina.

  • What we know:

    » A day and a half search for 11-year-old Caitlyn Marie Virts ended Friday night, when she was located at a motel room in Florence, S.C., with her father Timothy Virts, 38, who Baltimore County police said abducted her.

    » They were discovered after they checked into the Colonial Inn in Florence on Thursday night and were recognized from a national Amber Alert notice on Facebook by a motel employee, who notified authorities.

    » Motel clerk said Virts paid in cash. He stayed at room 101 in the Colonial Inn next to the office where rooms are $36 a night. He paid for one night on Thursday and returned Friday morning to pay for a second.

    » Authorities had issued an Amber Alert for Caitlyn around 10:45 a.m. on Thursday after she was reported seen around Dundalk in a black 1999 Dodge Durango with Maryland tag 5AJ4458. The search quickly escalated into a nationwide manhunt involving the FBI.

    » Timothy Virts was sought in connection with the stabbing death of Caitlyn's mother, Bobbie Jo Cortez, 36, who was found bound with duct tape in her bed in her home in the 3100 block of Ardee Way on Thursday morning before authorities said Virts took off with Caitlyn.

    » Virts has been charged federally with unlawful flight so authorities could track and apprehend Virts, but they will likely not pursue those charges, police said.

    » Police have recovered what they believe to be the murder weapon for the death of Bobbie Jo Cortez, but will not disclose what it is at this time.

    » The Dodge Durango Virts drove was registered to 38-year-old Daniel Williams Cortez, who was married to Bobbie Jo and has been jailed since December on sex offense charges. It was recovered on the motel property.

    » Police have not determined a possible motive in the fatal stabbing and said they have no reason to believe that Daniel Cortez's charges are related to the abduction or murder.
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