Dundalk residents react to Virts abduction

BALTIMORE - In the few days, Dundalk residents have been talking about two things.

The murder of Bobbie Jo Cortez and the abduction of her daughter Caitlyn Marie Virts.

"As soon I heard the Amber Alert, it was everywhere," said Dundalk resident Katie Romano. "You couldn't escape it."

In the wake of the tragedy, Dundalk residents say the community remains a safe place to live. 

"It's important to remember that this could happen in any town," said Scott Holupka, Dundalk resident and candidate for the Baltimore County Council. "I believe the alerts worked very well in helping resolve the case."

Holupka, who is running for the District Seven council seat, said he and his family used to live just a few blocks from the crime scene.

He added that the tragedy doesn't help the image of the community, but it does help talk about the importance of public safety.

Talk of the abduction began shortly after the Amber Alert appeared on cell phones on Thursday, when Virts was reported missing. She was last seen at the 3100 block of Ardee Way in Dundalk with her father Timothy Virts.

Baltimore County police later said her abduction was related to a homicide investigation of Cortez, who was found dead in her  home. 

 Ric Metzgar, a candidate for the Sixth District in the House of Delegates which includes Dundalk said his heart went out to the family.

The Republican said this incident shows that more safety mechanisms should  be in place to stop abuse from happening.

"Leadership starts in the home," he said. "We need more programs to help foster that."

If elected, he pledged to fund more of those initiatives, in the hopes of preventing another tragedy like this from happening.

Romano said she was relieved to see Caitlyn was found alive after watching television Friday night. 

"Communities have their good parts and their bad parts," she said. "You never want to hear something like this happens right around the corner."

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