Four dead in search for ex-cop accused of kidnapping daughters: Report

Harper Ho
York Dispatch

UPDATE: Police say Vicosa and Bynum dead, believe other bodies are kidnapped daughters

The search for two little girls who were abducted by their father in York County ended Thursday when the girls, their father and an accomplice were found dead in Maryland, according to reports.

Robert Vicosa, his two daughters, 6-year-old Aaminah and 7-year-old Giana, and Baltimore County Police Sgt. Tia A. Bynum all died from gunshot wounds inside a stolen car in western Maryland, according to WJZ TV in Baltimore.

A Maryland State Police spokesperson Thursday evening would not identify the four people found shot in the vehicle earlier that afternoon but said it was an adult man, an adult woman and two juveniles.

Robert Vicosa, Tia Bynum

She said police believe they know who the people are and that the deaths might be related to two earlier incidents, one in Maryland and one in Pennsylvania.

Police in Pennsylvania had attempted to stop the vehicle in connection with the earlier Maryland incident as it approached the state border. Police in Maryland picked up the chase after the vehicle crossed the state line, the spokesperson said.

Officers who approached the vehicle after it crashed around 2:30 p.m. found the adult female driver, an adult man and one of the juveniles dead from apparent gunshot wounds, she said. The other juvenile was alive, but later died of an apparent gunshot wound at a hospital.

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Law enforcement in Maryland and Pennsylvania had been pleading with Vicosa and Bynum to do the right thing and return the girls safely.

The ex-Baltimore County cop had been on the run after allegedly abducting his daughters and brutally assaulting the children's mother at his Windsor Township home last weekend.

Vicosa, 42, and Bynum tied the girls' mother up at gunpoint before she was held captive in the basement of his home and raped repeatedly until she escaped, according to charging documents.

Robert Vicosa

The girls' mother filed an emergency PFA against Vicosa at 8:38 a.m. Monday. The PFA names the woman and the two girls.

York Area Regional Police requested a search warrant for the Windsor Township home and went to serve it on Monday afternoon, but Vicosa and the girls were gone when they arrived, police said.

Vicosa and confidant Bynum traveled together with the girls and had been involved in at least two armed robberies and carjackings in York and Baltimore counties, police said.

Vicosa, also known as Robert Brown, and Bynum were close friends and former co-workers. They were described by police during the hunt as armed and dangerous, with Aaminah and Giana in extreme danger.

What happened: The children's mother went to Vicosa's home in Windsor Township about 9 p.m. Nov. 12 after he invited her over to have cake with the girls, court documents state. Vicosa and the children's mother shared custody.

After the family was finished eating cake and the girls went upstairs to bed, Vicosa allegedly asked the mother to stay as she was getting ready to leave, because he had a birthday gift for her.

Vicosa appeared to be looking for the gift, and the next thing she knew he and Bynum had grabbed her by the arms, police said.  

"A female came out and grabbed me on one side while he grabbed me on the other side. He put a gun to my head," the mother told police in court documents. 

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The woman screamed as he and Bynum dragged her to the basement and tied her wrists with zip ties and a rope for her ankles, according to court documents.

She was then allegedly drugged, forced to inhale a crushed-up pill of OxyContin and smoke marijuana. Hours later, the three then went upstairs to Vicosa's bedroom, where he raped the mother that night and Saturday.

Vicosa threatened a murder-suicide of the whole family and said he would rather they be dead than to live apart.

"He stated that if the police arrive, he would kill everyone before they even have a chance to enter," the woman said.

York Area Regional Police were contacted by Springettsbury Township Police about 3:50 p.m. Sunday after the mother was able to leave and report that she had been violently assaulted for over 24 hours, police said.

"She had managed to get him to let her leave to get some items (Sunday)," court documents state. The mother drove to Target to get help. "She believed that he had tracking devices on her vehicle and her phone, which were both still in the Target parking lot."

Springettsbury police drove the woman to York Area Regional Police because that department covers Windsor Township.

"They drove her to us to start this investigation so that her car and her phone could not be tracked," said York Area Regional Police Lt. Ken Schollenberger.

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Police served a search warrant Monday afternoon at the home and discovered the house in disarray. The windows were shattered, and officers found an emaciated dog, but not Vicosa or the girls.

Police plead for girls: Law enforcement on Thursday morning again had pleaded with Vicosa and Bynum to do the right thing and let the children go safely.

“We know that you are tired. We want to work with you on a safe and peaceful resolution,” said Chief Melissa Hyatt with Baltimore County Police. “The priority for all of us is getting these two children, Giana and Aaminah, safely.” 

During the manhunt, police connected Vicosa and Bynum to at least two armed robberies where both the victims were uninjured, police said.

Vicosa, armed with a semi-automatic handgun, kidnapped and carjacked a man Wednesday afternoon in the Cockeysville area in Maryland, police said. His two daughters and Bynum were present. 

“We can end this incident peacefully by getting them to surrender to law enforcement, and that’s really what our focus is right now,” Hyatt said, before the discovery of the bodies in the car later in the day. 

Reach Harper Ho at hho@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @howdyhoharper.

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