(INSIDE EDITION) A father has appealed to the public for help after a Virginia mother and her two children mysteriously vanished after an alleged blind date she had.
Monica Lamping, 29, and her two children, 7-year-old Kai and her 9-month-old Oria, were reported missing by family members Sunday at 9:30 a.m., according to police.
A fire broke out at Lamping’s home just after 3 a.m. on Sunday, but no one was found inside, according to police. It wasn’t until no one heard from Lamping that they suspected that something may be wrong.
Lamping was reportedly last seen when she picked up the children from her best friend’s home at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, where she had left them while she went on a blind date with a man named “Chad.”
She had met the man at a gas station, according to her ex-husband and the father of Kai, Kevin Lamping.
“The unusual circumstances regarding the fire, the blind date, the lack of communication between Monica and her parents, and her best friend, and myself leads me to believe there is something kind of more foul play going on," Kevin told InsideEdition.com.
He said Lamping had texted her best friend after she left the babysitter telling her she had car trouble but that "Chad" was going to help her fix it. It would be the last time she was heard from.
Police called the circumstances of the family’s disappearance "suspicious" and said the case remains under investigation. Cops added that they are attempting to identify "Chad."
Lamping was believed to be driving a 2002 Jeep Cherokee with a Virginia license plate tag XPU-6357. The truck was last seen traveling through the Portsmouth Downtown Tunnel in Portsmouth, Virginia, at about 2 a.m. Sunday — an hour before the fire, police said.
Police, however, haven’t issued an Amber Alert because Lamping is the mother of Kai and Oria.
“The big kicker was Monday morning Kai didn’t show up for school. My husband has primary physical custody and they share joint legal custody and per their agreement Kevin is supposed to be notified for any absence Kai has. And up until this point Monica has been diligent about following the agreement,” Moira Lamping, Kai’s stepmom said.
Through all of this Kevin said he just wants them found. He said it’s highly unusual of Lamping to just disappear.
“I have been trying to be more optimistic but every day that passes doesn’t seem like we are getting any more information. I have watched enough shows, Dateline or whatever, 60 Minutes, to know that these things typically don’t get better as time goes on,” Kevin said.
"At nighttime is when it gets the toughest. That’s when you’ve got a little bit more time to think about all the things you could have done differently with your child, perhaps have prevented something like this from happening."
Officials urge anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Monica Lamping and her children to call the Virginia Beach Police Department at (757) 385-5000 or the Virginia Beach Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.