Friends and family are becoming increasingly concerned about a missing Virginia Beach mother and her two children, who have not been heard from since Saturday.
Adding to the anxiety is the fact that Monica Lamping’s house burned down on Sunday, though a fire department spokesperson told the Virginian-Pilot that no one was home at the time of the fire. The fire department has also said it believes the fire is not suspicious, and was likely caused by a space heater.
Lamping’s last known contact was a text exchange with a friend at about 10:30 Saturday night. According to Lamping’s friend Anne Shell, Lamping had dropped her two young children off at Shell’s house during the day when she went on a date. Lamping, 29, told her friend when she came to pick up her children that she had plans to babysit that evening, but later cancelled them.
No one has been able to reach Lamping since then: The fire department has been reportedly trying to locate her, and Shell told the Virginian-Pilot that Lamping’s phone sounds as though it has gone dead or been turned off.
“She’s never been out of communication with all of us for this length of time,” Lamping’s mother, Sheila Bogard, told the Virginian-Pilot.
Virginia Beach police told the newspaper Monday that Lamping’s disappearance has been classified as endangered “under suspicious circumstances” because of how long she has been out of contact.
At the time of the report, the fire department had not yet been in contact with the owner of the burned-down house where Lamping and her children were living. There was reportedly one other tenant in the house, a woman who was not present at the time of the fire, and has not been identified. A cat and a dog died in the fire.
Lamping drives a green 2002 Jeep Cherokee with a Virginia license plate reading XPU-6357. Anyone with information about Lamping’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Virginia Beach Police Detective Bureau at 757-385-4101 or Virginia Beach Police Emergency Communications at 757-385-5000.
Photo: Virginia Beach Police