A police search is underway for a pregnant Maryland school teacher who never showed up for the first day of class Tuesday.
Laura Elizabeth Wallen, 31, was last heard from on Sunday, when she sent what police called a “troubling” text message to her family, according to FOX5DC. Police didn’t reveal what the message said, and Wallen’s family hasn’t been able to reach her since.
She is at least three months pregnant, FOX5DC reported.
Wallen’s father, Mark Wallen, told NBC4 he became alarmed when she didn’t show up for the first day of classes Tuesday at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., where she teaches social studies and law.
He then checked her condo in Olney, where police said she was last seen. Wallen said he suspects something malicious happened to his daughter.
“You feel so helpless at that point because you don’t know where your child is,” he said.
Brian Basset, a Howard County Public Schools spokesperson, said in an email to FOX5 that they are assisting police in any way they can, and have made resources available to support students and staff.
In a letter to the school community Wednesday, principal Rick Wilson said faculty brought the news of Wallen’s disappearance to students’ attention, though many had already known through social media. He encouraged parents to discuss it with children and offered the school’s resources and support.
“Let’s keep Ms. Wallen, her family, and the entire Wilde Lake community in our thoughts and prayers during this time,” Wilson wrote.
Wallen is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 200 pounds and has blonde hair and blue eyes. Officials said she could be driving a black 2011 Ford Escape with Maryland license plates.