Mother charged with killing her two young children three years after they disappear

A Maryland mother has been charged with the murder of her two young children three years after they went missing.

The Washington Post reports that Catherine Hoggle, 30, was indicted on two counts of murder on Thursday and is now being held at Montgomery County Jail, without bail.

In September 2014, four-year-old Sarah Hoggle and her two-year old brother Jacob went missing near Gaithersburg. Their mother has long been a suspect in her children’s disappearance, but was declared unfit to stand trial due to mental incompetence.

Hoggle has reportedly refused so far to cooperate with investigators as she has been detained in a psychiatric hospital for three years. She was charged shortly after her children’s disappearance with neglect, abduction, and hindering, all misdemeanors.

The suspect is considered to be highly intelligent while suffering from mental illness. She has previously been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

According to the Washington Post, prosecutors were facing a looming deadline related to Hoggle’s case — the statute of limitation was about to expire on how long she could be held on misdemeanor charges while declared unfit for trial. Her attorney David Felsen had scheduled a hearing for Friday where he was reportedly expected to ask the judge to drop the charges against his client.

With the more serious charges against her, Hoggle can now remain in psychiatric custody if she is still considered unfit for trial.

But prosecutors will still face challenges due to her psychiatric condition and the fact that no bodies have been found.

β€œThe issues of criminal responsibility β€” whether for misdemeanors or felonies in this case β€” are certainly on the table,” Felsen told the Washington Post.


Feature photo: Police handout