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Mentally Ill Mother Refuses To Cooperate As Search For Toddlers Turns To Homicide Probe

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WJZ)—The frantic search continues for two young Montgomery County children who have now been missing for more than a week and a half.

Tracey Leong has the latest on this investigation.

The mother is refusing to tell police where her children are. It has now turned into a homicide investigation, but many are hopeful the kids will be found alive.

It's a desperate race against the clock to find 3-year-old Sarah Hoggle and 2-year-old Jacob Hoggle.

"We always maintain a glimmer of hope that we will find Sarah and Jacob alive," said Lt. Sean Gagen, Montgomery County Police Department.

But the toddlers' paranoid schizophrenic mother, Catherine Hoggle, isn't cooperating.

She ran away last week, and when she was found without the kids, Catherine Hoggle refused to reveal where they were--only saying the toddlers were safe and together.

"Based on our interaction with Catherine and our investigation to date we have to prepare for the worst," Gagen said.

Volunteers, investigators and K-9's have searched thousands of acres in Montgomery County without any luck.

But the family remains optimistic.

A few people telling the children's father troy turner they believed Sarah and Jacob were spotted along the bus 55 route, and it's there where volunteers are working tirelessly handing out fliers with their pictures.

"They are really in need of help," said Nick Stewart, volunteer.

Stewart was the one who found Catherine Hoggle and brought her to police. Now he's hoping to do the same with her children.

"I feel obligated that I found Catherine; it's the best thing to do is for us to help," he said.

Catherine Hoggle remains in custody in Montgomery County. She has been ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Hoggle faces charges of child neglect, obstruction and hindering.

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