Crime

Police 'concerned' for missing mom and 3 kids, but husband disagrees

A Virginia police department has been searching for a missing woman and her kids, but her husband thinks they aren't really missing.

Lauren Cook and her three missing kids are pictured.
Franklin County Sheriff's Office
SMS

Police are searching for a missing woman and her three children, but her husband doesn't think she's missing at all.

The sheriff's office in Franklin County, Virginia, asked for the public's help in gathering any information about Lauren Cook and her kids' whereabouts in a Facebook post Sept. 13, though the authorities said the group hadn't been seen or successfully contacted since Sept. 5.

Cook, 30, and her children — a 7-year-old boy named Benjamin, a 5-year-old girl named Hannah and a 2-year-old boy named Elijah — were determined to be missing after they didn't show up to meet a family member with whom they had plans.

Authorities said there hadn't been any bank account or cell phone activity on Cook's accounts since Sept. 7, when her phone pinged in Lexington, but there haven't been many concrete updates in the case.

The three kids have now been listed on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website.

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But amid all of the searching, the children's father and Cook's husband Jordan Cook, who lives with them and shares custody of the kids, told a local news outlet he doesn't believe his wife or his kids are missing or in danger.

"Contrary to what has been reported, my wife and children are not 'missing,'" he told ABC13. "I have no reason to be concerned about their safety or well-being. I have heard from my wife, and I'm sure she and my children are doing well."

When asked if there had been any update in the case to signal the family was safe and in fact not missing, as Jordan Cook said, Franklin County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Megan Huston told Scripps News there hasn't been a change in their search.

"Lauren and her children have still not been officially located and cleared from being a missing person in the system," Huston said. "Until law enforcement (wherever they are) makes physical contact with them to ensure they're all okay, then they are still classified as missing."

All-in-all, Huston said the case is unusual.

"Usually you see where a non-custodial parent will run off with the kids, which is not this situation," Huston told ABC13. "There is concern as to where she is at and where the kids are at after it has been over a week now since anybody has had communication with her."

Anyone with information on the four people's whereabouts is asked to contact the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.