Maryland Mom Still Being Questioned by Police

Catherine Hoggle has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, say police

A missing Maryland mother has been found and taken into custody -- but there is still no sign of her two missing children.

Police said Catherine Hoggle has indicated to police that the children are alive, saying, "kids are safe," but has not revealed where they are.

Meanwhile, police are unable to verify Hoggle's statements. Hoggle, who authorities say has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and had stopped taking her medication, has told varying stories about the children's whereabouts since their disappearance.

Saturday, Hoggle was formally charged with two counts of child neglect and with obstruction and hindering the investigation into the children's disappearance. Police said when she was spotted late Friday -- after a desperate search -- she tried to flee from officers.

Police also said Hoggle has altered her appearance by cutting her hair. They think she has been spending the last few days and nights on the streets, looking very disheveled when she was located.

Police had been searching for Hoggle for days, after her husband realized her children, Jacob, 2, and Sarah, 3, had not been seen for days.

Catherine herself had disappeared from a fast-food restaurant as she and her husband were on the way to report her children's disappearance to police.Late Friday, Montgomery County police tweeted that, at about 11:18 p.m., a tipster called 911 and said that Catherine was walking in the area of Century Rock Boulevard and Crystal Rock Drive in Germantown -- a location about a block away from the Chick-fil-A where she disappeared.

Police took Catherine Hoggle to police headquarters for questioning. They remained on the scene, searching the area and a nearby apartment complex with dogs.

Police are still searching for her two young children. Late Friday, police released a statement saying they "remain concerned for the children’s welfare."

Earlier Friday, Montgomery County Police had released surveillance video of Hoggle walking slowly through a Germantown office building around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

That would be just hours after she slipped out the back door of the Chick-fil-A. Police say she later boarded a county bus near the restaurant, which is in the area of Route 118 (Germantown Road) between Interstate 270 and the Germantown Commons shopping center. She rode the bus to the transit center at the Lake Forest Mall in Gaithersburg and got off.

After that, the next sighting was on the videotape recorded early Tuesday. Police also found the contents of her purse in a bathroom in that building.

"We're working with the owners of that building, we're working with the people in that building to try and determine what it is that Catherine did inside there," said Montgomery County police Capt. Darren Francke. 

Meanwhile, family and friends are planning a candlelight vigil in the Chick-fil-A parking lot Saturday night.

Troy Turner, the children's father, said he's been looking for the three himself and passing out fliers around the clock. Family and friends have handed out more than 10,000.

Turner said he doesn't think Hoggle would hurt their children.


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"Her thinking, in her right or her wrong mind, wouldn't do anything on purpose to harm the children," he said. "Whatever she's doing, she has a skewed version of reality. She believes she's protecting our children."

The investigation into the disappearance of two children indicates their mother, also missing, may still be in the area. She was charged with child neglect Wednesday. News4’s Jackie Bensen reports.

Police tweeted late Friday that they "remain concerned for the children's welfare" for the children. They planned to spend the day reviewing and discussing search efforts. There were no new searches planned for Friday unless authorities get new information. They plan to resume searching Saturday.

Police released a statement that reads in part:

Based on data and information gathered during the investigation, detectives have focused on areas of the County that they believe Catherine may have visited recently. Officers have searched these areas, looking for evidence that could assist detectives in locating the Hoggles. The search process is highly organized and systematic, conducted by police officers, and is overseen by the Montgomery County Police Department Search Team.

Before she disappeared, Catherine Hoggle told a convoluted story of where the children went.

Turner told police that while he was at work Sunday afternoon, Hoggle's father drove the family to Hoggle's mother's home in Gaithersburg. Hoggle then borrowed her father's car, a gray 2012  Nissan Rogue, and told her parents she was taking Jacob to get pizza.

She returned to the house three hours later without her son or any food. Hoggle told her parents she dropped off Jacob at a playmate's house and went back to her own home with her daughter.

Police determined Monday night that Jacob had never been at a friend's home.

Hoggle's daughter, Sarah, was last seen around 5:50 a.m. Monday, when Hoggle left their Clarksburg home with the little girl, telling Turner that she was dropping off the child at a daycare center.

When she returned home at 8:30 a.m., she told Turner that she had taken both Jacob and Sarah to the unknown daycare.

Police say that Turner, who works nights, hadn't known that Jacob had never come home after visiting his grandmother's house.

Later Monday, when Turner asked Hoggle about picking up their children from the daycare, Hoggle would not tell him where they were.

"We are about 1,300 strong on the police department, of men and women on the street," said Montgomery County Asst. Police Chief Russ Hamill. "We need the eyes and ears of the community to help us find these little children and bring them safely home."

Catherine Hoggle is 5-feet-6-inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. She has brown eyes and black hair. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a black tank top.

Sarah Hoggle is biracial, 3-feet-6-inches tall and weighs 40 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair. Her brother, Jacob, is also biracial, and is 3 feet tall and weighs 25 pounds. He has brown eyes and a blond afro.

If you have seen Catherine Hoggle, Jacob Hoggle or Sarah Hoggle, police ask that you call 911 immediately. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the police non-emergency number (301-279-8000).

Family and friends have created a fundraising page to raise money for a reward for any information that leads to the return of the children.

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