FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WSET) — The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is investigating a missing woman and her three children out of Franklin County.
Lauren Cook, 30, and her children, 7-year-old Benjamin, 5-year-old Hannah, and 2-year-old Elijah Cook, have been missing since September 4.
Investigators say her phone last pinged near Lexington on September 7, but there have been no pings since then. Cook's family contacted the Sheriff's Office after they couldn't get in touch with her and they said she missed a meeting with a family member.
The kids are now listed on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website.
The sheriff's office said that Cook's blue Chrysler van is also missing. They say this case is unusual and the Sheriff's Office just wants to ensure that Cook and her children are safe.
Sergeant Megan Huston said families don't often go missing when both parents have custody of the children.
"Usually you see where a non-custodial parent will run off with the kids, which is not this situation," Huston said. "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."
Huston said Cook's husband is worried.
"He's upset, as any parent would be, of 'where are my children at,'" Huston explained. "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."
Huston says the case has gotten a lot of attention on social media.
"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."
If you have information on the family's whereabouts you're asked to contact the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.