A former Dundalk lawman was found dead alongside his two daughters and his alleged accomplice, following an almost three-day manhunt for the former officer after he allegedly abducted the children from his estranged wife at gunpoint, according to police.
Maryland State Police said Robert Vicosa, a former Baltimore County Police officer who worked in the Dundalk precinct for a period of time before he was fired this August, was found dead in an “apparent murder-suicide” alongside his two daughters, who he had allegedly abducted earlier last week, in the back seat of a vehicle in Washington County last Thursday afternoon.
Vicosa’s alleged accomplice, Baltimore County Police investigator Tia Bynum, who was suspended during the manhunt, was also found dead in the driver’s seat, according to the state police.
Vicosa had been wanted after he allegedly staged a “home-invasion robbery” at his ex-wife’s house in the Windsor Township of Pennsylvania, just southeast of York, on Monday, according the York Area Regional Police Department. There, he allegedly took his ex-wife at gunpoint and stole her vehicle along with his two children, Giana and Aaminah Vicosa, the six- and seven-year old girls he had shared custody with in addition to his ex-wife.
The alleged home invasion lead to a days-long chase for Robert Vicosa, who was allegedly joined by his former colleague, Bynum at a point during the manhunt.
Throughout the three-day crime spree across state lines, Robert Vicosa and Bynum also allegedly kidnapped a man in Cockeysville last Wednesday afternoon, making him drive them and the two girls to “different locations in the Baltimore Metropolitan area,” Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said at a press conference in York last Thursday.
Hyatt also said the search was impeded by the pair’s knowledge of police tactics. Bynum, who was suspended after police learned of her involvement, worked in the Baltimore County police’s criminal investigations division.
“When we have a situation that involves police officers or former law enforcement officers, our challenges are significant,” Hyatt said.
The search ended last Thursday afternoon when state police from Pennsylvania identified a gray Ford Edge, which they believed belonged to the suspects, heading towards the Maryland line from Waynesboro, PA.
As the Pennsylvania State Police attempted to stop the suspects, the car “veered off of the road, struck a culvert and came to rest in a grassy area” off Ringgold Pike in Smithsburg, Maryland, according to the Maryland State Police.
The four were found dead after police broke the car’s windows, having brought in negotiators who received no response from the vehicle’s occupants.
When the windows were broken, police discovered Bynum in the driver’s seat, dead from gunshot wounds. Robert Vicosa, along with his two daughters, were found in the back seat. They also had suffered from gunshot wounds, according to police.
Robert Vicosa, Bynum, and one of the girls were all pronounced dead at the scene and transported for an autopsy, while the girl’s sister was transported to a Hagerstown hospital where she was also pronounced dead.
An assault rifle and other firearms were found in the vehicle, according to state police.
Police are continuing to investigate what happened in the four’s final moments.
Robert Vicosa had worked in different offices throughout the Baltimore County Police Department since 2004, according to police, being promoted to a sergeant rank in the Dundalk precinct in 2017, according to a release from the Fraternal Order of Police at that time.
He later faced a number of disciplinary actions, eventually being terminated after a trial board hearing where he was found guilty on five of six charges for “sleeping while on duty, insubordination [and] conduct unbecoming of an officer,” according to the police union.