BALTIMORE - The father of Timothy Virts tells ABC2 News that he just wants his granddaughter back.
Peter Virts spoke outside of his home near Patterson Park Thursday about a harrowing day that started with an AMBER Alert regarding his granddaughter.
Authorities are looking for 11-year-old Caitlyn Virts . Her mother Bobbie Cortez, was found dead at her home in Dundalk Thursday morning.
Police have not said whether they believe Timothy Virts killed Bobbie Cortez – but they do believe he is with the child.
“I'm hoping that my son Timothy will call me, and tell me where I can come pick up my granddaughter,” Peter Virts said. “And there won't be anybody else who'll know a thing about it, and he can go on his way.”
He said he hasn’t seen his son in more than a year. Timothy Virts has a long criminal record. Peter Virts said he had been living in a halfway house. But recently he moved into the home in Dundalk with Bobbie Cortez, Caitlyn Virts and her twin sister, another son of Bobbie Cortez, and Cortez’s current husband, Daniel Cortez.
Daniel Cortez is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center, on charges that include sexual abuse of a minor.
The vehicle police believe Timothy Virts is driving – a black Dodge Durango with Maryland plates 5AJ4458 -- is registered to Daniel Cortez.
Peter Virts made his plea directly to his son: “Timothy, you don't get along with me, I understand that. I don't care what you did. I care about your daughter. Contact me, let me come pick her up. I promise not to set you up. I just want her free,” he said.
Bobbie Meekins has lived on the same street as Peter Virts for decades. She said Timothy Virts was friends with her children and grandchildren.
“A year or two ago he would take my two grandchildren and take his two daughters over there and take them over to the park and spend hours swinging and playing," Meekins said. “It's just a shock to me. It's really a shock. Timmy loved his kids and they loved their father. I just can't imagine him doing something like this"
Peter Virts said his son does not have a job or money for gas. He also doesn’t know of any friends or associates that Timothy Virts might be able to look to for help. He’s concerned that media coverage of the story – and the potential link of his son to the murder of Bobbie Cortez – could cause him to put his daughter in danger.
"I don't know what happened, I really don't care what happened,” he said. “I just want to make sure she's OK.”