FRANKLIN COUNTY, VIRGINIA: A Virginia woman and her three young children have been missing for more than a week and authorities are growing increasingly worried about their safety.
Lauren Cook, 30, and her children, Benjamin, seven, Hannah, five, and Elijah, two, were last seen on September 5 in Franklin County, Virginia.
Since then, no one has been able to contact or locate them.
How are police trying to trace the missing Virginia woman and her three children?
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook that they are seeking the public help to find the missing family.
They said Cook’s husband is not involved in the disappearance and is very concerned about his children.
“He’s upset as any parent would be, of ‘where are my children at,’” Sergeant Megan Huston told WSET.
Was Lauren Cook in danger?
Huston also said that the case is unusual because it does not involve a custody dispute or any signs of danger.
“Usually you see where a non-custodial parent will run off with the kids which is not this situation,” Huston said.
“We don’t have any signs that she is in danger, but we’re just trying to locate them and make sure they’re safe.”
The police said Lauren Elizabeth Tousa Cook is 5’1” with long brown hair and brown eyes.
Benjamin Cook, seven, has blue eyes and blonde hair while Hannah Cook, five, has brown eyes and blonde hair. Elijah Cook, two, also has blue eyes and blonde hair.
Police seek community and media help to trace the missing Virginia woman and her children
The sheriff’s office said they have received an outpouring of support from the community and the media to help find Cook and her children.
They urged anyone with information to call them at (540) 483-3000.
“Anytime anything involves children they want to make sure the children are safe,” Huston said.
“We have gotten an outpouring of support for trying to locate this family and we would appreciate any additional shares of any news media coverage on this so that we can locate Lauren and her children,” she added.
Did Lauren Cook leave a possible abuse situation?
Some social users have drawn concern and asked uncomfortable questions about Cook’s disappearance.
“It doesn’t state anything about them being in danger… are they suspected to be in danger? Or did she take her kids and leave a possible abuse situation?” a concerned user asked.
One user wrote, “Why is this just coming out?! We are 9 days after they were seen. What’s dad saying? This makes me feel like a Colorado situation again.”
Another one commented, “Why haven’t we seen this on the local news so that people can be keeping an eye out? Praying they are ok!!.”
One asked, “Usually there are comments of people who know her. There is also no social media so I’m wondering if she was isolated for a while.”