WASHINGTON - A vehicle belonging to Laura Wallen, a pregnant teacher missing from Montgomery County, has been found in Howard County, a source has told FOX 5.
Wallen was last heard from on Monday after police said she contacted a family member by text message. Police would not go into detail about what the text message said, but they described it as troubling.
The 31-year-old Olney woman is a social studies teacher at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia. She failed to show up for the first day of the school year on Tuesday in Howard County.
Montgomery County police said on Thursday that they are not ruling anything out in this case, but they are troubled by her sudden disappearance.
"By all appearances, she seems to be just a solid and committed person who would not behave this way," said Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks. "She has been given awards as a teacher in the past. I think she enjoys a close relationship, not only with her sister, but with her parents. They all still live very close to one another in the Olney area, see each other frequently and communicate even more frequently by phone.
"The lack of contact, the no communication since Monday is completely out of character, and that has what has family and police concerned."
Residents who live at The Gramercy at Town Center in Columbia told FOX 5 that police had two separate areas blocked off in the neighborhood during the afternoon and evening on Thursday. They said investigators appeared to be looking through an area of trash dumpsters and a row of townhomes. This community is located about a five-minute drive away from Wilde Lake High School.
A woman whose daughter attends Wilde Lake High School said officers came back to their neighborhood on Friday asking her questions about Wallen.
Wallen's family has been instructed by Montgomery County police to not speak with the media to give any further details because they are afraid it could interfere with the investigation.
The missing woman is described as 5'5" tall and weighs 200 pounds. She has blond hair, blue eyes and is around four months pregnant.
Wallen's car was described as black 2011 Ford Escape with Maryland tag M522473.