Mom, Two Kids Who Disappeared Under ‘Suspicious Circumstances’ Found Safe: Police

iStock/Thinkstock(VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.) -- A Virginia mother and her two young children who recently disappeared under "suspicious circumstances" have been found safe, according to the Virginia Beach Police Department.

The mother, 29-year-old Monica Lamping, and her 9-month-old daughter and 7-year-old son, were located safe "in an adjoining state," police wrote in an update on the department's website just before noon Wednesday.

"Investigators have determined that they left on their own free will," police said.

Further information about how and where the mother and kids were found was not immediately released by police.

Lamping and her children were first reported missing by family members on Sunday, Jan. 22, around 9:30 a.m., police said Tuesday.

A fire had broken out in Lamping's home just hours before she and her kids were reported missing, according to the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

The fire was reported around 3:15 a.m. that same Sunday, and no one was found in the home, a fire department spokesperson told ABC News on Tuesday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and investigators are looking at the possibility that a space heater may have ignited the blaze, the fire department spokesperson said.

Just a few hours before the fire, in the late afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 21, Monica Lamping reportedly went on a blind date with "somebody named Chad," according to Moira Lamping, the stepmother of Monica Lamping's 7-year-old son.

Monica Lamping left her kids with her best friend and picked them up again after the date around 5:30 p.m. that Saturday, Moira Lamping told ABC affiliate WVEC-TV in Hampton, Virginia.

"She said something about car trouble, and Chad could fix it," Moira Lamping said.

Police had said in a statement on Tuesday that they were "attempting to identify the individual named Chad."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

US Army’s top engineer ‘not satisfied’ with Puerto Rico’s post-Maria recovery

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) -- It's been 150 days since Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, but the island still isn't at a level of recovery that satisfies the U.S. Army’s top engineer."I am not satisfied that people in Puerto...