Woman who fled mental hospital called victim's family, police say

49-year-old faces charges of abducting Cecil girl

September 04, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 49-year-old woman who escaped from a state psychiatric hospital in Catonsville on Saturday by climbing out a window has made a disturbing phone call to the family of the girl she is accused of abducting, a Harford County Sheriff's Office spokesman said yesterday.

Detective Thomas Walsh said the woman, Maria L. Baughman, called the Cecil County home of Donna L. Snyder after the escape. Snyder's boyfriend answered the phone. "He reported that she was using a lot of profanity, and she just said that nobody was ever going to catch her," Walsh said.

Baughman and another patient, Lisa L. Gabbert, 25, of Middle River, escaped from Spring Grove Hospital Center, where Baughman was awaiting trial on charges of abducting Snyder's daughter, Caitlyn Crowther, who turns 10 today. Baughman, who had been Caitlyn's longtime baby-sitter, also is charged with 29 counts of forgery.

Walsh said Baughman has been calling friends and relatives. She called a male acquaintance about 12:30 a.m. Sunday and told him she had been released from the hospital and needed a ride. She instructed him to drop off Gabbert and her at a Wawa convenience store on Revolution Street in Havre de Grace, where the pair were last seen.

Walsh said the man called police after he saw a news report and realized he had inadvertently aided the escape.

Relatives whom Baughman has called have told police that she said she has no intention of turning herself in or of being caught, Walsh said.

Harford detectives said they plan to seek a federal warrant today for Baughman's arrest on charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

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