Police are searching for a Virginia woman and her three children who have been missing for about two weeks, although her husband told a local TV station that their family was OK.
Lauren Elizabeth Cook, 30, was last seen with her three children at the family’s home in Ferrum, southwest Virginia, in late August, and she last spoke with her mother around 5 September, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
His children are: Elijah, 2 years old, Hannah, 5 years old and Benjamin, 7 years old.
Here’s what we know:
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When Cook’s mother last spoke with her daughter on the phone, she said she and the children were in New York visiting family, Sheriff’s Sgt. Megan Huston told USA TODAY on Tuesday.
She said Cook’s bank account had had no recent activity and that her cellphone last rang Sept. 7 in Lexington, Va., about 90 miles northeast of the home she shares with her husband and children in Ferrum, a rural area of the Blue Ridge. Mountains with approximately 2,100 inhabitants.
“Communication efforts with Lauren have been unsuccessful,” the sheriff’s office posted on its Facebook page on September 13, posting photos of the family and asking the public for help in finding them.
As of Tuesday, all three children were listed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
They may be traveling in a blue 2013 Chrysler pickup truck with a Virginia license plate, the nonprofit said.
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Father: “I have no reason to worry”
Jordan Cook, Lauren Cook’s husband and father of their children, could not be reached by USA TODAY Tuesday.
But he told WSET-TV that he has heard from his wife since she considered disappearing.
“Contrary to what has been reported, my wife and children have not disappeared,” the husband said in a statement to the media. “I have no reason to be concerned for their safety or well-being. I have heard from my wife and I am sure that she and my children are doing well. We ask that the privacy of our family is respected at this time.”
Despite Jordan Cook’s comments, Huston said the search for the mother and children continues.
“If the husband has had any contact with Lauren since then, we are not aware of it,” Huston said Tuesday. “Lauren Cook and the three children are still missing. Law enforcement (wherever they are) needs to get their eyes on her and the children so they can be removed from the system as missing.”
Anyone with information about the missing family is asked to contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office or local law enforcement agency.
Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior correspondent for USA TODAY. Contact her at email@example.com and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @nataliealund.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lauren Cook, Virginia Mom, Children Considered Missing; indifferent husband