On September 7th, 2014, Troy Turner kissed his three children goodbye in Gaithersburg, Maryland before heading off to work. He remembers that they were playing with blocks and watching TV. He had no idea that it would be the last time he’d see his two youngest children—three-year-old Sarah Hoggle and two-year-old Jacob Hoggle.
Catherine Hoggle, the mother of the children and Turner’s girlfriend at the time, suffers from Schizoaffective Disorder, a mental illness that causes a person to experience symptoms of schizophrenia as well as severe mood swings. Because of her mental health, Turner would not allow her to be alone with the children and, instead, came up with the compromise to drop his children and Catherine off at Catherine’s mother’s house while he was at work.
In that aspect, September 7th was just like any other day. Around 4 PM, Catherine left the house with Jacob to pick up a pizza they had ordered and, unexpectedly, returned to the house without Jacob nor the pizza. She explained to her mother that she had dropped him off at a friend’s house for a playdate and the explanation seemed reasonable enough.
Later that evening, she returned to her own house with Sarah and her older son. When Turner returned home from work late that night, he decided that it wasn’t necessary to check on the children and went straight to sleep—a decision he would later regret.
When he woke up, Sarah, Jacob, and Catherine weren’t home. Unsure if Catherine had simply taken the kids out for a while or if something had happened, Turner was filled with a mix of emotions. Catherine returned to the house a short while later without either child.
She explained to him that she had taken Jacob and Sarah to a new daycare center in town, but when they got in his truck to go pick up the children, she couldn’t seem to remember where it was. She directed Turner to a number of different places and the children were nowhere to be found. He made the decision to go to the police.
Catherine reportedly asked him to stop at a fast food restaurant before going, where she quickly texted her mother that the children were safe and took off running. She was found three days later, wandering the streets alone. She tried to run away from police, but was taken into custody.
Catherine was originally charged with a number of misdemeanors, including abduction, hindering, and neglect, which allowed law enforcement to keep her in a psychiatric hospital for up to three years or until she was fit to stand trial. In 2017, in order to keep her in the psychiatric hospital for a longer period of time, she was charged with murder, which allows her to be held for up to five years or until deemed fit to stand trial.
So far, Catherine Hoggle has been unwilling to cooperate with police and has not given them any information about what happened to Sarah and Jacob Hoggle.
Catherine’s mother, Lindsey Hoggle, has said that she believes her daughter is innocent. After reading through her emails and text messages, she believes that Catherine knows where the children are and that they’re safe. Law enforcement has also acknowledged that this is a possibility, confirming that there are underground networks of people who will hide children if they believe it’s in the best interest of the child.
However, law enforcement has also stated that the investigation will continue until the children are found and that anyone in their right mind would have come forward.
Troy Turner, on the other hand, is coming to terms with the fact that Catherine may have murdered his children. He’s lost all the hope he once had and says that, even if Catherine does come forward with information, it’s impossible to know if she’s telling the truth because she’s a chronic liar. He continues to organize search efforts and raise awareness about these missing children in Maryland.
As of January 2018, Catherine Hoggle is still found unfit to stand trial.
In the case of a missing person, any and all tips are helpful. If you have any information that might be useful in the Hoggle children search, please call 1-800-THE-LOST.