Police beg former cop to return daughters as they piece together trail of cars, assaults
York Area Regional Police are pleading with the father of two girls, ages 6 and 7, to return the children safely.
"We are looking for them," police said Wednesday morning during a news conference, imploring the man to do the right thing by dropping the girls off somewhere safe and letting them go.
Robert Vicosa, 42, who is also known as Robert Brown, kidnapped his daughters, 6-year-old Aaminah and 7-year-old Giana, this week from a home in Windsor Township, police said. The chain of events includes assaulting the girls' mother, submerging one stolen car in a pond and carjacking another woman's vehicle.
Vicosa, a former Baltimore County police officer, is on the run with the girls, possibly with Baltimore County Police Sgt. Tia Bynum, who's a close friend and former co-worker of his, police said.
"You were at one time a police officer. In your heart you know what you're doing is not right," said Lt. Ken Schollenberger of York Area Regional Police. "We're asking you and pleading with you, take them anywhere that you can."
Aaminah and Giana are in extreme danger and were last seen with their father about 11:50 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Huson Road in Windsor Township.
Police have filed charges of kidnapping and robbery, both felonies, against Vicosa, along with a misdemeanor simple assault charge.
However, their primary concern is to find the girls and return them to their mother, police said.
"I'm anxiously awaiting for their return," the children's mother said. "I miss them and love them and need them home."
Timeline: Police received a report from Vicosa's estranged wife earlier this week that she had been violently assaulted for more than 24 hours in the Windsor Township home.
She reported that there were multiple guns involved, both long rifles and handguns, as well as drug use taking place at the home, police said.
Vicosa told her that he was tracking her phone and car, police said. At some point, the mother left the home and went to Springettsbury Township Police to report what was happening.
"They drove her to us to start this investigation so that her car and her phone could not be tracked," Schollenberger said.
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.
Vicosa allegedly fled with the girls in a stolen 2015 Black Acura TL that belongs to Bynum's sister. Police described Bynum as “less than forthcoming” when they talked to her Monday.
Police got a lead Tuesday when a woman reported that she was held hostage at gunpoint and carjacked on Huson Road in Windsor Township.
Vicosa took the woman's phone and left with the children in her silver Volkswagen Jetta after the trio had spent the night in a trailer on her property, police said. Vicosa had abandoned the black Acura when it became partially submerged in a creek nearby.
Investigators tracked the stolen phone to the area of East Lancaster Street, in Red Lion, where Vicosa ditched the Volkswagen and his trail went cold, police said.
Vicosa used the woman's phone and called Bynam exclusively, according to charging documents. Officers served a searched warrant at Bynum's home, but she and her car were nowhere to be found.
Bynum told police Vicosa called her and indicated that he needed her help and to come pick him up, according to charging documents.
Pennsylvania State Police are searching for Bynum’s 2013 Lexus GS 350 with PA license plate KPK2076.
"We don't know definitively whether they are in that car or definitively whether they are with Tia," Schollenberger said. "But we can say Tia is not in her home. Both girls are still missing. That car is missing, so is Mr. Vicosa."
Vicosa is armed and dangerous and shouldn't be approached, police said. Anyone who sees Vicosa or the two girls or has information should call 911 immediately or call York Area Regional Police at 717-741-1259 and direct tips to 1-800-762-8187.
Vicosa was last seen wearing blue pajama pants with a penguin imprint, green long-sleeve zip-up shirt and muck boots.
He is a former Baltimore County police officer who was terminated in August by the department, police said.
Reach Harper Ho at email@example.com or on Twitter at @howdyhoharper.
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