Whereabouts of missing Franklin County family still a mystery

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 10:02 AM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - A missing mother and three children from Franklin County are still being sought, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lauren Cook and her children were confirmed to be in Litchfield, Illinois around September 13 and 14, but were apparently just passing through and are no longer there, with no word where they are now, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Office of the Sheriff began a missing persons investigation Wednesday, September 13, after Cook did not appear for a scheduled court appearance in Franklin County Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court. This was the second scheduled appearance after Cook did not appear in court on September 5, and a third scheduled appearance September 20 was attended by Lauren’s husband, but not Lauren. The husband and mother told officials they have both received calls from Lauren saying she and the children were okay, but wouldn’t give them a location. Attempts to ping Cook’s phone have been unsuccessful since September 7.

Lauren Cook, 30, is 5′1″, with long brown hair and brown eyes.

Benjamin Cook, 7, has blue eyes and blonde hair.

Hannah Cook, 5, has brown eyes and blonde hair.

Elijah Cook, 2, has blue eyes and blonde hair.

Deputies say to clear Lauren and her children from being “missing persons”, a law enforcement agency must make in-person contact with them to confirm that they are okay and not under duress. Cook’s husband has cooperated with authorities throughout the investigation and has attended all mandatory court dates.

Anyone with knowledge of where Lauren Cook and her children may contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 540-483-3000, or local law enforcement.