ROCKVILLE, MD -- The mother of two Montgomery County children who have been missing for over three years was charged with their murders on Friday.
The Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office indicted Catherine Hoggle on two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Sarah, 3, and Jacob, 2. Prosecutors allege the murders took place sometime between September 7, 2014 and September 8, 2014.
The children have never been found.
"I thought I was going to be sick, OK. It upset me a lot to hear it, but yet, if that’s what’s needed to be moving on," said the children's paternal grandmother, Debbie Beckward-Turner, as she described how she felt when she learnt of the new charges.
Hoggle was the last person to be seen with the two children and prior to Friday, had only faced misdemeanor charges for their disappearance. However, she has never faced trial as she has been ruled incompetent and has remained a state-run psychiatric hospital while doctors attempted to restore her competency.
"But we’re not there today and we could not abide a situation where she began to walk the streets again because those same reports told us that she was in fact a danger," said Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy.
Under Maryland law, if a person has not been tried within three years of being charged with a misdemeanor, those charges have to be dropped. Which, in this case, would have let Hoggle out of the hospital.
By filing murder charges against Hoggle, McCarthy said the state can now hold Hoggle for another five years. A judge ruled Friday that Hoggle continue to be held without bond at the hospital.
McCarthy said he is confident that Hoggle will be restored to competency.
"Based on the references and the letters that we’ve received over the last three years that we will ultimately get to a point where she is competent," added McCarthy.
Hoggle's mother, Lindsey Hoggle said she agreed her daughter will eventually be found competent. She added that she believes her grandchildren are still alive somewhere and that last year, her daughter told them that they are safe.
"They should be investigated as missing until there’s evidence to the contrary and so I will still keep looking for Sarah and Jacob," said Lindsey Hoggle.
However, the children's father, Troy Turner, said he feels otherwise.
"I have held out hope that something else may have happened as I think that any parent under these circumstances would, but it has always been a faint hope and I know now with the passage of time that Catherine killed my babies," said Turner.