(CNN) — A former Baltimore County police officer and two girls (believed to have been his daughters and who would have abducted them) were killed, along with a suspended police sergeant who was allegedly on the run with him. It would be an apparent case of “murder and suicide,” Maryland State Police said Thursday.
Former Agent Robert Vicosa, 41; suspended Baltimore County Police Sgt. Tia Bynum, 35; and the children believed to be Vicosa’s daughters, ages 6 and 7, were found shot in a vehicle in western Maryland near the Pennsylvania state line shortly after police tried to detain them, authorities said.
Vicosa was accused of abducting his daughters at gunpoint on Monday from the house of his wife, from whom he was separated, in the Windsor Township of Pennsylvania, in addition to assaulting his wife and stealing her vehicle, police said in that state.
This Thursday afternoon, Pennsylvania State Police spotted a vehicle wanted in the case in southern Pennsylvania near Waynesboro, heading to the Maryland state line, and tried to stop it, authorities said.
Shortly after the attempt to stop traffic, and after the vehicle crossed into Maryland, it went off the road and hit a fence, Maryland State Police spokeswoman Elena Russo said.
Officers surrounded the vehicle and attempted to communicate with the occupants, but were unable to see inside due to “darkened windows and interior fogging,” Maryland State Police said in a news release.
After getting no response, officers opened a passenger-side window and found Bynum in the driver’s seat and Vicosa and two girls in the back seat, all of whom appeared to have been shot, police said.
Vicosa, Bynum and a girl were pronounced dead there. The other girl was airlifted to a hospital for treatment but was later pronounced dead, Russo said.
Police did not say who is believed to have killed whom.
An assault rifle and other firearms were found in the vehicle, Maryland State Police said in the statement.
The alleged kidnapping at gunpoint
On Monday afternoon, police responded to a burglary in Windsor Township, southern Pennsylvania, where Vicosa allegedly assaulted his wife, took their two daughters at gunpoint, stole their vehicle and fled the area, police said at a news conference Wednesday.
Vicosa’s wife told police that he had broken into the home, held her captive for more than 24 hours, had firearms, and was using drugs in the home. Police found corroborating evidence of the assault, break-in and drug activity at the scene, but did not find the two daughters, York Area Regional Police Lt. Ken Schollenberger said.
Police tracked Vicosa’s phone, which led them to the home in southern Pennsylvania of Tia Bynum, a “close friend” of Vicosa, according to police. Bynum “was less than forthcoming” and did not allow them to search his home, Schollenberger said.
Bynum’s home is in York City in Pennsylvania, according to Baltimore County Police. York is approximately 50 miles north of Baltimore.
Vicosa had abandoned his wife’s car and had taken an Acura that supposedly belonged to Bynum, according to Schollenberger. Vicosa lost control of the Acura and it fell into a canal, for which she had to remove her daughters.
Police received a call Tuesday from a woman who said she was held hostage at gunpoint by a man, according to Schollenberger. The woman informed police that she took a walk on her property, found the overturned car in the canal, and later discovered Vicosa in her caravan. Vicosa later stole her car and phone, police said.
Police tracked down the stolen phone, which again led them to Bynum’s home, they said. When they searched the house, the police did not find Bynum, Vicosa or the girls. Another of Bynum’s cars also disappeared, police said.
The Story of Vicosa and Bynum at the Baltimore County Police Department
Vicosa was employed by the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) from 2004 until he was fired in August 2021, said BCPD spokeswoman Joy Stewart.
According to a report shared with CNN by the BCPD, Vicosa was demoted from sergeant to agent and ultimately fired after being investigated for four allegations, including three in which he was allegedly inappropriate with female police officers by viewing inappropriate videos in his presence and commenting on a sexual nature.
Bynum was recently suspended from her role as a sergeant in the BCPD because she was accused of being on the run with Vicosa, Stewart told CNN.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism