BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The search for a missing pregnant Howard County teacher who vanished days ago continues.
Police found 31-year-old Laura Wallen’s SUV not far from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia where she worked.
Investigators took the SUV from an apartment complex Thursday night but police have yet to find her. The license plate matches the one police were looking for.
Students remain concerned about her safety and are keeping up hope for her return.
“She told me about her pregnancy and how tired she was. She hung her sonogram up on the refrigerator and she wouldn’t tell me what she was having, but she was telling me she was excited, and she was ready for another school year,” says former student Saquan Maxwell.
Montgomery County Police are leading the investigation because Laura Wallen lived in Olney.
A neighbor says they also searched a dumpster and asked questions, knocking on doors and showing residents Wallen’s picture.
Police won’t speak on camera about the vehicle recovery, but on they spoke with WJZ on Thursday.
“At this point, do you believe any foul play was involved? What can you say about that?” asks Investigative Reporter Mike Hellgren.
“We are urging anyone with information to come forward.We’re exploring all options, talking to friends, talking to family, to fellow teachers, anyone who may have had contact with her,” says Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti, with Montgomery County Police.
Wallen is a former teacher of the year. She was four months pregnant when she disappeared. She then failed to show up for the first day of classes Tuesday at Wilde Lake High School, where she teaches history.
“I miss you, and want you to come back, because you are a really nice teacher and you mean something to me,” says student Kevin Jenkins.
Police say her last text was on Monday to her family and they describe it as troubling, prompting concern for her safety, but won’t say what she wrote.
Relatives of Wallen confirmed that she was excited about her pregnancy, never gave signs that anything was bothering her and left her dog behind.
She apparently spent days preparing her classroom for the new school year.
Students plan to meet at the school on Saturday to personally search for Wallen.
Students have posted to messages to Ms. Wallen on her classroom door. Their search starts at 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.