Four found dead inside car during hunt for ex-policeman in US

Two of the victims found in the vehicle were juveniles


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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Published: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 7:21 AM

Last updated: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 8:31 AM

Four people were found dead Thursday inside a car which matched the description of a vehicle connected to a former Maryland police officer accused of taking off with his daughters in Pennsylvania, authorities say.

Elena Russo, spokeswoman for Maryland State Police, told a news conference that Pennsylvania State Police were attempting a to stop a car that may be related to an incident in Baltimore County when they found the four.

Russo said after the car crossed over from Pennsylvania into Maryland, it ran off the highway and struck a fence line. She said Maryland troopers surrounded the car and tried to make contact with the people inside.

“Our crisis negotiation team made several attempts to contact the occupants of the vehicle,” Russo said. “After receiving no response and low visibility inside the vehicle because of a thick layer of smoke that was contained in the interior of the vehicle, police made entry into the passenger side.”

Troopers found the driver and three people in the back seat, Russo said, adding that two of the three in the backseat were juveniles. She said all four occupants appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, and that three of them were pronounced dead at the scene.

She said one of the juveniles was pronounced dead at a hospital in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Russo declined to identify the four victims because family hadn’t been notified and the investigation was ongoing. But she said police believe they know who the victims are.

“Investigators do believe this incident is potentially related to two other incidents one in Maryland, and one in Pennsylvania,” she said.

Former Maryland County Police Officer Robert Vicosa carjacked and kidnapped a driver Wednesday afternoon in Cockeysville, Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said at a news conference in York, Pennsylvania, on Thursday. The driver was later released unharmed, Hyatt said.

Vicosa had a handgun and was accompanied by two young girls and Baltimore County Police Sgt. Tia Bynum, police said.

Police in York County, Pennsylvania, said Vicosa assaulted his estranged wife over 24 hours at her home there starting Sunday, news outlets reported. Police said she escaped to contact authorities, but when they reached the home Monday, Vicosa and the girls — ages 7 and 6 — were gone.

Investigators traced Vicosa’s phone to Bynum’s home, but she wasn’t forthcoming, police said. When they returned to her home later, she was gone, they said.

Vicosa was terminated in August and Bynum is suspended and stripped of her police powers in relation to the situation, Baltimore County Police spokesman Kevin Gay said. He didn’t elaborate on how Vicosa and Bynum were connected.

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