It has been one year since Sarah and Jacob Hoggle went missing while with their mother, Catherine Hoggle. A year of sorrow. A year of questions. A year of frustration.
A full year, missing.
“It is a matter of constantly missing them,” said the children’s father Troy Turner at press conference held Tuesday in the Aurora Hills local park in Clarksburg where he and his children, then two-year-old Jacob and four-year-old Sarah, had played only the day before all of this happened.
“I guess the low points were July 3, and November 20 were the hardest days when their birthdays came, and they weren’t here. There is never a point when you are going to give up on your children,” said Turner.
Catherine Hoggle is currently facing misdemeanor charges of child neglect and obstructing and hindering an investigation after going missing in Germantown with her two young children, Jacob, and Sarah, in September of 2014. The children remain missing, and Montgomery County Police and the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office continue to pursue homicide charges against Hoggle. Those new charges if filed would move the case from the District Court to the Circuit Court, but those charges have yet to be filed.
The judge set another status hearing for Sept. 18 in Maryland District Court. However, he also ordered that if Hoggle was to become competent prior to Sept. 18 that a trial on the charges of child neglect would proceed immediately, it was reported.
“We are continuing to run leads and investigate things on our side as well,” said Turner. “We are hoping to get possibly more help from the police on the side of investigating the missing person part of this case. I am hoping to get a meeting with them coming up very shortly to see what we can do with that. They are definitely going full bore on the homicide investigation, but I feel like we have enough resources put toward looking for my children.”
Turner expressed frustration that Catherine Hoggle seems to have more rights than his two missing children. “One of the biggest problems that we have run into is that we have a system where we have someone, who maybe doesn’t know where the kids are now necessarily a year later. But she definitely knows what she initially did with them or who had them, and if we figure out where they were, we can go from there to find them,” he said.
“We are in a situation where there is a court order from a judge where the police can’t even question her about it. We are at the mercy of whether she chooses to speak or not on that front. As a father, or even as a person looking on, I would never understand how a person has more rights institutionally than two children have the right to be found or looked for. To me, when you have kids involved you exhaust every option whatever it is, and quite frankly some of the rules should go out the window when kids are involved.”
“Sometimes you have to prioritize what is important,” he said. “Quite frankly, I feel it is more important to have police find two children than have the police not question someone who may know where they are.”
Turner also said he was somewhat frustrated with police efforts to find the children. “We are hoping to possibly get more help from the police on the side of investigating the missing person part of this case,” said Turner. “They are definitely going full-bore on the homicide investigation, but I feel like we don’t have enough resources put toward looking for my children.”
While speaking about the difficulties of dealing with the uncertainty, and frustration surrounding the disappearance of his children Turner said, “Unless someone produces some hard evidence that they are dead, I feel like they should continue to be looked for. I believe that they deserve that. We are talking about rights; I believe that my kids have the right to be investigated and looked for alive because we have no evidence that they’re dead.”
Catherine Hoggle’s mother, Lindsey Hoggle said she speaks to her daughter daily by phone, sometimes five or six times a day, although she continues to struggle to get any substantive information about the whereabouts of the children during these conversations.
“My direction to her right now is that Sarah and Jacob’s brother deserves to know where they are and as well as the rest of the family. And she has a lot of people here willing to support coming to the answer,” said Lindsey Hoggle.
“She hasn’t given me nothing substantive,” said Hoggle. “She is very careful on details. I have come closer recently just to saying I want a connection, a date, a location, a phone number, a name, and I will help whoever it is (that has the children) get through this. The longer that this goes on, the more difficult it will becomes for those involved, including and most notably her. She is aware of that.”
Lindsey Hoggle also says that her daughter “has every intention to be competent” at the trial status hearing that is coming up on Friday, Sept. 18. “I am proud of her in moving in that direction,” she said. “She is very willing to attempt to take medications that will help. I am confident that she is aware of what happened.”
“I think that she has been afraid all along that she would lose her children,” said Lindsay Hoggle, and she believes that Catherine might have felt that way prior to taking the actions that she took on Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 of 2014.
The family also announced that they are planning more searches for the children in the Upcounty area in the weeks come. The family said they were planning a search effort on either on Sept. 26 or October 3, which will include about 250 members of a fraternity, as well as 200 members of the sorority to help search. The family will be widening the search area to upper portions of Damascus up Route 27 to the north and areas past Darnestown to the south.
Top: Troy Turner, the father of Jacob and Sarah Hoggle, with his Lindsey Hoggle, mother of the Catherine Hoggle and grandmother of Jacob and Sarah addressing the media at Aurora Hills Local Park on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Germantown Pulse.
Next: Sarah and Jacob Hoggle, missing one year this week.
Next: A missing poster for Catherine, and the children which was put up around Germantown while the children were missing and the mother was eluding authorities for almost a week. Photo by Germantown Pulse.