A Virginia mother of three, who has been missing for weeks, made contact with her mother and husband — but she refused to disclose her location.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office told The Messenger that Laura Cook, 30, said she and her children — Benjamin, seven, Hannah, five, and Elijah, two — were fine. However, she did not reveal where they were.
But when asked about talking with her daughter, Lisa Tousa, declined to confirm to the outlet whether they had spoken this week. Ms Tousa previously told the outlet that Ms Cook was five months pregnant.
“I will confirm that I am worried about my daughter and I’m worried about my grandchildren,” Ms Tousa said. “My daughter and my grandchildren are still missing. No one knows where they are.”
Ms failed to appear for her third scheduled court date at the Franklin County Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court. She failed to appear at the first two court appearances — on 5 September and 13 September — the second of which prompted a missing persons investigation.
By contrast, Mr Cook has shown up for court, the sheriff’s office said: “The husband has been cooperative with our office and has been attending any court dates that were set.”
Since the children and Ms Cook disappeared, her husband, Jordan Cook, has sung to a different tune entirely from her mother.
Mr Cook said he was “not concerned” and insisted that they weren’t in fact missing.
“Contrary to what has been reported, my wife and children are not ‘missing.’ I have no reason to be concerned about their safety or well-being,” he toldABC 13 earlier this month. “I have heard from my wife, and I’m sure she and my children are doing well.”
The pair live in Ferrum, Virginia, and there are reportedly no records of 911 calls that would indicate signs of a domestic dispute.
“A lot of times you see these situations where a parent loses custody and takes the kids and runs away. This doesn’t seem to be like that,” Sgt Megan Huston told The New York Post.
“But they’re not originally from here so I can’t say if something has or has not happened elsewhere, I’m not privy to that information,” she added. “It’s a complex situation that we have limited details on.”
Despite her husband’s claims, Lauren Cook’s name will remain on the “missing persons” list until “a law enforcement agency must make in-person contact,” the sheriff’s office previously explained.
Ms Cook’s phone last pinged on 7 September in Lexington, a town about 90 miles from her home. There has been no activity in her bank account since she vanished.
Investigators confirmed earlier this month that Ms Cook and her kids were in Litchfield, Illinois on 14 September.
It’s unclear whether the mother-of-three and her children were still in the state. It is believed that she and her three children could be travelling in a blue 2013 Chrysler van with Virginia tags.