By Mike Hellgren

Columbia, Md. (WJZ)– Montgomery County police in Maryland continue to look for a pregnant teacher who didn’t show up for the first day of class.

Police say Olney resident, Laura Elizabeth Wallen, 31, last contacted family members by text message on Monday.

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Credit: Montgomery County police.

Wallen failed to show up for the first day of classes Tuesday at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, where she teaches history and law.

“She was a favorite amongst the students. She was really nice and this is really sad, what’s happening, you see it’s really taking a toll on people,” said student Paris Cooper.

Relatives of Wallen confirmed that she was excited about her pregnancy, never gave signs that anything was bothering her and left her dog behind.

“I’m hoping they find her and I’m hoping that she’ll be alive and well,” said neighbor Joyce Robinson.

Police won’t reveal the context of the text message she sent the family.

“That was alarming enough that the family said ‘we need to call police,'” Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti said.

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Wallen spent days preparing her classroom, which makes it unusual that she didn’t show up.

She earned honors as senior class teacher last year.

“People are concerned for her safety,” said Brian Bassett of Howard County Schools. “I know she’s really highly regarded at Wilde Lake High School.”

Students flooded social media using the hashtag #BringWallenHome.

Wallen is 5-foot-5-inches tall, weighs 200 pounds and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Police are also looking for her car, a black 2011 Ford Escape with Maryland license plate M522473.

Anyone with information about Wallen’s location or the location of her car should call police at 301-279-8000.

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