Baltimore County

Timothy Virts to remain at detention center pending murder trial

Timothy Virts, accused of killing Bobbie Jo Cortez this month and abducting one of their daughters, will remain in jail pending trial, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Virts, 38, waived his right to attend a bail hearing and did not appear in court. No attorney was present. The judge complied with a prosecutor's request to continue holding Virts without bail.


Police say Virts stabbed 36-year-old Bobbie Jo Cortez in her house in the 3100 Ardee Way in Dundalk earlier this month and fled the area with their 11-year-old daughter Caitlyn Virts.

In charging documents, police said that Caitlyn's twin sister found her mother unresponsive on the morning of March 6 and Virts and Caitlyn gone. Police issued an Amber Alert, and father and daughter were found two days later in a motel in Florence, S.C.


Virts and Cortez were supposed to appear in court March 6 for a custody hearing in which Virts faced the possibility of losing custody of Caitlyn and Cayla, according to court documents.

Charging documents provided new details of the killing. Police wrote that Cayla asked Virts on the night of March 5 if she could go downstairs and get Cortez to tuck her in.

Virts "just laughed at her so she did not go downstairs," police said.

The next morning, police wrote, Cayla used a butter knife to open the door of her mother's bedroom and found her body.

She alerted another adult at the home, identified by police as Ms. Cirigliano. Caitlyn and Timothy Virts were gone, police wrote, as was a 1999 Dodge Durango registered to Cortez's husband, Daniel Cortez.

Daniel Cortez has been in jail sex offense charges since December.

He was convicted in 2009 of a fourth-degree sex offense, according to state records, and was indicted on March 5 on more sex offense charges. He is listed in the state's sex offender registry.

Police said his charges are not related to the case.


Timothy Virts had been sleeping on a couch in the basement of Cortez's home for two or three weeks, police said.

Police say they found Timothy Virts and Caitlyn March 8 at a Colonial Inn in Florence. The motel owner who had checked them in the night before saw the Amber Alert and called police.

In a 911 recording obtained by The Baltimore Sun, Colonial Inn co-owner Carol Gause told a dispatcher, "You're not going to believe this."

The dispatcher responded, "I probably will."

She said she had seen Timothy and Caitlyn Virts, and they had checked in under their real names.

"The little girl didn't seem to be upset or nothing," Gause said.


Caitlyn was found unharmed and flown back to Maryland on March 8. She was reunited with her siblings, who are in custody of social services.

County officials said they could not release more information about the hearing scheduled on the day of her abduction.

Timothy Virts was extradited to Maryland last week and charged in the killing of Cortez.