“Missing” Virginia Mom Case Highlights the Stress of Child Abuse Claims

Posted by Joseph Lento | Nov 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

There is no more devastating accusation than child abuse. The accusation, whether true or false, can tear families apart. Authorities have to take allegations seriously, as do parents and guardians. The health and welfare of children is paramount. Pennsylvania law discusses the procedures that are taken when someone is accused of child abuse or neglect. Authorities will place children into protective custody and begin an investigation. Child custody arrangements may be changed, and criminal charges may be filed. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not fool around when it comes to children.

If you or a family member are facing allegations of child abuse or neglect, you need an experienced attorney. The LLF Law Firm and its Family Law Team are ready to guide you through the maze of proceedings that take place when child welfare is called into question. Reach out to our office at 888-535-3686 or use this online form.

A Mom in Virginia Can't Be Found After Abuse Allegations

Being accused of child abuse can be scary. Whether the claims are true or not, however, the accused person has to participate in the resultant proceedings. But what happens when someone disappears after an allegation of child abuse is made against them? Has there been foul play? Is it a misunderstanding? Is everyone overreacting? The case of a Virginia mother and her three kids demonstrates the stress and confusion that can arise after accusations are made.

According to a news report, someone made an anonymous allegation of abuse against Lauren Cook, a Franklin County, Virginia, mom of three. She was supposed to appear at the local domestic relations court but did not show up. She did not appear at a rescheduled hearing several days later, either. Her mother became worried and ended up filing a missing person's report after Cook and the kids had not been in touch for days. As a result of the report, authorities listed Cook and her children on the national missing persons list and feared for their safety.

Law enforcement began searching for Cook and her children and unsuccessfully called her cell phone numerous times. Cook ended up speaking to a reporter by phone a few weeks after being listed as missing. She said she was concerned that her children would be taken away because of the abuse allegation. She also said that after receiving legal advice, she decided to take a planned vacation, which she then extended. She also said she did not know when she would return home, according to the news article.

Nearly a month after Cook left her home, the Franklin County, Virginia, Sheriff's Office issued a statement saying the family were no longer listed as missing and are safe in another state, where they intend to remain.

If You Are Facing Child Abuse Allegations, You Need Strong Legal Representation

If you or a family member are in Pennsylvania and are accused, rightly or wrongly, of child abuse or neglect, you need an attorney who knows how to navigate the court system and who is ready to fight on your behalf. The LLF Law Firm and its Family Law Team know what to do. Contact our office at 888-535-3686 or tell us about your case by using this online form.

About the Author

Joseph Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm has unparalleled experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Our Family Law Team will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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