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Montgomery County police believe missing toddlers are dead

Montgomery County police investigators suspect a Clarksburg mother killed two young children who have been missing for more than a week, police said on Monday.

Sarah Hoggle, 3, and Jacob Hoggle, 2, have been missing since Sept. 8.

Authorities are investigating their mother, Catherine Hoggle, 27, in their possible deaths. Hoggle had also gone missing for a few days after her common-law husband became suspicious about the kids' whereabouts.

"We keep a ray of hope that Sarah and Jacob will be reunited with their family," Police Capt. Darren Francke said at news conference Monday morning. "But I can tell you at this point we are transitioning our operation as investigators."

Police said detectives, a psychiatrist and Hoggle's lawyers have tried get to her to tell them the location of the children but they have not been successful. Police found Hoggle Friday without her children. They said she appeared disheveled and looked as if she had been living on the street. They also said she had changed the appearance of her hair.

When detectives asked where the kids were, she told them the "kids are safe," said police.

The two Hoggle children were last seen on Sept. 7, when Catherine Hoggle took them to their maternal grandmother's house in Gaithersburg. She borrowed a family car, saying she was taking Jacob to get pizza. She did not return with the boy or pizza and said he was spending the night at a friend's house.

The next day she returned to her Clarksburg home with Sarah but the girl soon went missing, police say. Hoggins told her common-law husband she had taken both kids to a day-care program. He became suspicious when he asked to pick the kids up. Police said that's when Hoggle briefly disappeared, too.

On Sunday, police searched eight areas in Darnestown but did not recover any evidence.

On Monday, police held a news conference saying they believed the children had been killed by Catherine Hoggle, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

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