Police Building Homicide Case Against Md. Mom as Search for Kids Continues

Public urged to check personal property for any trace of the children.

The father of two missing Maryland toddlers is adamant his children are alive, despite grim news from the county's police department.

Montgomery County police searched more than 14,000 acres of land Monday and Tuesday in hopes of locating 2-year-old Jacob and 3-year-old Sarah missing children after placing their mother under arrest for child neglect.

Catherine Hoggle has yet to reveal the exact location of her two children, telling police she gave them to a friend before changing her story. Jacob was last seen Sept. 7 and Sarah was last seen the following day.

Hoggle said the two were "alive and safe," but police are transitioning to a homicide investigation based on the amount of time the children have been gone and the 15-hour interrogation of the Montgomery County mom.

The children's dad, Troy Turner, told News4 he's confident Sarah and Jacob are alive, and that Hoggle is incapable of harming them.

"[I'll keep looking for them until] someone turns my kids in or I kick down a door and go get them," he said. "Whatever reality she's formed, she feels like she's protecting the children by hiding them."

Turner and his friends and co-workers have handed out more than 10,000 fliers with his children's photos.

Hoggle was taken into custody after a brief chase Friday, a few days after she vanished from a fast-food restaurant as she and her husband were on the way to report the children missing.

During her questioning, Hoggle told investigators that taking the children was planned, adding that her husband waking up and taking their third child to the bus stop interrupted her plan.

Hoggle told police that she gave her children to an old high school friend named Erin and said that her number was in her cell phone. According to charging documents, once officers handed her the phone, she began deleting things from it.

She also told investigators that she took the children to a playground and left them there alone.

Hoggle has been charged with two counts of child neglect and with obstruction and hindering the investigation into the disappearance of the children. Police say a parental abduction charge is pending.

Authorities said Hoggle has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but she denies that she was off her medication prior to her and the children vanishing. Police say Hoggle was lucid during her questioning. 

Police are urging residents from Darnestown to Clarksburg to help by checking their personal properties for any trace of the children or any strong odors.

Turner was granted emergency custody of the children on Thursday.

Contact Us