Four people were found dead inside a car Thursday in what police say are apparent murder-suicides involving two ex-Maryland officers and two children.
Authorities identified Robert Vicosa, 41, of Baltimore, as one of the four deceased. Police said he violently attacked his estranged wife over the weekend and took the couple’s young daughters: Giana Vicosa, 7, and Aaminah, 6.
Vicosa was an officer with the Baltimore County Police Department, but his work history was dotted with insubordination and was terminated in August 2021 after numerous reprimands, according to a summary of cases provided by the police department.
Vicosa carjacked and kidnapped a driver Wednesday afternoon, Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said at a news conference on Thursday. He had a handgun and was accompanied by two young girls and Baltimore County Police Sgt. Tia Bynum, police said.
Bynum was suspended by the Baltimore County Police Department sometime after Tuesday afternoon, and the York Area Regional Police filed charges against her for false imprisonment, according to a statement from Baltimore County Police.
Bynum, 35, was also found deceased in the car. Police suspected she helped hold Vicosa’s estranged wife captive. Both Vicosa and Bynum were considered armed and dangerous by law enforcement.
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Police believe the two juveniles found in the car were Vicosa’s children. One was pronounced deceased at the scene and the other was transported to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
In a news conference earlier this week, York Area Regional Police Chief Tim Damon read a statement from the girls’ mother, whose name has not been released.
“I would like the public to know that Giana and Aaminah are very loving, kind and super smart girls,” the statement starts. “I am so grateful for all of the friends, family, law enforcement and even strangers for their support and prayers. I am anxiously awaiting their return. I miss them, and love them, and need them home.”
All four occupants appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, said Elena Russo, spokeswoman for Maryland State Police. Authorities said investigators on the scene located an assault rifle and other firearms in the vehicle.
Pennsylvania State Police were trying to stop the car Thursday afternoon, Russo said, when it ran off the highway and struck a fence line after crossing over from Pennsylvania into Maryland. 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.”
Police found the four deceased shortly after. Authorities haven’t identified a motive for the shooting, and the investigation is ongoing.
Contributing: Shelly Stallsmith and Teresa Boeckel, York Daily Record; The Associated Press