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A multi-day manhunt for a former Baltimore County police officer who abducted his daughters tragically ended Thursday when the former officer, a department sergeant and the girls were found shot to death in western Maryland, WJZ learned. .
Sources told WJZ Robert Vicosa, his 6 and 7-year-old daughters Aaminah and Gianna, and Sgt. Tia Bynum was found dead from gunshot wounds inside a sport utility vehicle in Smithsburg after a four-day crime spree that swept across state lines.
Maryland State Police spokeswoman Elena Russo said Pennsylvania State Police launched a chase Thursday afternoon for a car that matched the description of a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle was traveling south on Ringgold Pike on the Maryland-Pennsylvania line, where Maryland State Police waited.
Near Smithsburg, Maryland, the vehicle went off the road and hit a fence, Russo said. Then the police surrounded the vehicle.
Police opened the passenger side door and found a female driver in the front and three passengers, a man and two children in the back, all with apparent gunshot wounds.
The man, the woman and a child were declared dead at the scene. A second girl was transported to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, where she was pronounced dead.
Russo said state troopers were unable to reach anyone in the car. Around 2:30 p.m., the crisis negotiators made another attempt but were unsuccessful. First responders were reportedly unable to distinguish what was happening inside the car due to a “thick layer of smoke” inside.
Maryland State Police did not identify any of the vehicle’s occupants due to an ongoing investigation. Russo did not say if any officers opened fire.
Vicosa had been on the run since Monday after he allegedly attacked her estranged wife at the family home in Pennsylvania, taking her captive and fleeing with the couple’s daughters.
The former police officer, who was fired from the Baltimore County Police Department in August, was wanted on various charges including kidnapping, armed robbery, simple assault and robbery, according to police.
Investigators believed that Vicosa was receiving assistance from Tia Bynum, a Baltimore County police sergeant and close friend of hers who was suspended from her duties in response to her involvement in the case.
She became part of the investigation after Vicosa’s phone was traced to her home. Police said Bynum was “less than forthcoming” during an interview Monday, not allowing them to search her home. When police returned to Bynum’s home on Tuesday, they found that she and her vehicle were missing.
According to court documents reviewed by WJZ, Vicosa and Bynum hatched a plot over the weekend to terrorize Vicosa’s estranged spouse inside her home. The couple drugged her, tied her up and left her in the home for hours, according to court documents. Both children were in the house at the time. Vicosa and Bynum later left with the girls, according to court documents.
Bynum, suspected of helping Vicosa elude the police, was wanted on a felony false imprisonment. She was suspended from her duties after the Baltimore County police learned of her involvement.
The search for Vicosa took a new turn on Wednesday when an armed carjacking was reported in the Cockeysville area. Police said Vicosa and Bynum kidnapped a man at gunpoint and forced him to drive them before letting him go.
The man, who spoke exclusively to WJZ on Thursday, was unable to discuss much of what happened due to the active investigation.
“I’m just a little tired,” the man said. “I’m worried about the babies, those beautiful little girls.”