A multi-day manhunt for a former Baltimore County officer has ended after the officer, his two children and another woman were found dead in a car, Maryland State Police said.
Former officer Robert Vicosa and Tia Bynum, along with Vicosa's daughters, aged 6 and 7, were killed in an apparent murder-suicide, police said.
Bynum, a suspended Baltimore County police officer, and Vicosa were accused of kidnapping the girls from his estranged wife's house outside York, Pennsylvania on Sunday.
Elena Russo, a spokeswoman for Maryland State Police, told a news conference that Pennsylvania State Police were attempting to stop a car thought to be related to an incident in Baltimore County when they found the four.
Russo said after the car crossed over from Pennsylvania into Maryland, it ran off the highway and struck a fence line. She said Maryland troopers surrounded the car and tried to make contact with the people inside.
“Our crisis negotiation team made several attempts to contact the occupants of the vehicle,” Russo said. “After receiving no response and low visibility inside the vehicle because of a thick layer of smoke that was contained in the interior of the vehicle, police made entry into the passenger side.”
Troopers found the driver and three people in the back seat, Russo said, adding that two of the three in the backseat were juveniles. She said all four occupants appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, and that three of them were pronounced dead at the scene.
She said one of the juveniles was pronounced dead at a hospital in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Vicosa carjacked and kidnapped a driver Wednesday afternoon in Cockeysville, Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said at a news conference in York, Pennsylvania, on Thursday. The driver was later released unharmed, Hyatt said.
Vicosa had a handgun and was accompanied by two young girls and Bynum, police said.
Police in York County, Pennsylvania, said Vicosa assaulted his estranged wife over 24 hours at her home there starting Sunday, news outlets reported. Police said she escaped to contact authorities, but when they reached the home Monday, Vicosa and the girls were gone.
Investigators traced Vicosa’s phone to Bynum’s home, but she wasn't forthcoming, police said. When they returned to her home later, she was gone, they said.
Vicosa was terminated in August and Bynum is suspended and stripped of her police powers in relation to the situation, Baltimore County Police spokesman Kevin Gay said. He didn't elaborate on how Vicosa and Bynum were connected.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Maryland is grieving over the loss of two children.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
Anyone affected by domestic violence can receive help, advice, information or crisis intervention by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or visiting the website thehotline.org.