Virginia Mother and Two Young Children Mysteriously Disappear

iStock/Thinkstock(VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.) -- Police have issued a missing and endangered alert for a Virginia mother and her two young children who recently disappeared under "suspicious circumstances," 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 reported missing by family members this past Sunday, Jan. 22, around 9:30 a.m., the Virginia Beach Police Department said in a news release Tuesday.

A fire had broken out in Monica 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 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.

Family members reported they have not been able to get in contact with Monica Lamping since that afternoon, the Virginia Beach Police Department wrote in its news release Tuesday.

Police added that they are "attempting to identify the individual named Chad."

Monica Lamping is believed to be operating a green 2002 Jeep Cherokee bearing a Virginia license plate with the tag XPU-6357, according to police. The vehicle was last spotted traveling through the Portsmouth Downtown Tunnel in Portsmouth, Virginia, police said.

Officials ask that anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Monica Lamping and her children please call the Virginia Beach Police Department at (757) 385-5000 or the Virginia Beach Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

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