Family Disappears After Mom's Blind Date With Stranger
Kristin Danley 2/1/2017
When the home Monica Lamping, 29, shared with a roommate and her two children in Virginia Beach, Virginia, caught on fire, family and friends were worried. Fortunately, firefighters did not discover anyone at home except for pets, two of which perished in the fire. But that discovery also led to a harrowing four days for Monica's family after she and her children were declared missing.
Firefighters reached out to Monica's parents to try and locate her about the fire. Her mom, Sheila Bogart, tried to reach Monica and couldn't, either. In fact, she realized that she hadn't heard from Monica or her children, seven-year-old Kai and nine-month-old Oria, since the night before.
Monica's friend, Anne Shell, had last seen her friend when she watched the children so Monica could go on a blind date with a man named Chad, Shell told WAVY 10. Anne said Monica stopped by after a lunch date with him at 5 p.m. and chatted with her best friend for awhile, then left with the kids to babysit someone else's children. However, police later learned that Monica backed out of that obligation.
Not only could no one reach Monica, but her cell phone either died or was turned off. Police also spotted her vehicle driving toward Portsmouth, Virginia, at 2 a.m., her ex-husband Kevin Lamping told WTRK-TV. No one was aware of any travel plans Monica had made with the children, either.
Monica's vehicle was spotted approximately two hours before the house fire was detected, which fire department officials told The Virginian-Pilot was sparked by a space heater. Kevin, who is stationed with the Navy in Florida, was flown home after he learned that Kai did not show up for school on Monday.
Family and friends were suspicious of Monica and the children's mysterious disappearance. Kevin's current wife, Moira, told WAVY 10 that Monica told her friend Anne that she was having car trouble on Saturday and the blind date, Chad, could fix it. No one knew who Chad was and if he had ill intentions for Monica and the children.
Here's a timeline detailing the activities of the missing mom and children.
Monica and the kids were later found unharmed four days after they were last heard from--and on Monica's dad's birthday. Family members say they do not know why Monica left and there are a lot of unanswered questions, but for now, they're focusing on the fact that the three were returned home safe and sound.
Such a strange turn of events, but thankfully everyone is okay. Hopefully, more details will be disclosed and solve the rest of the mystery.
Sources: WAVY-TV, The Virginian-Pilot , WTRK-TV