Family of missing Virginia Beach mom found safe: ‘Monica was unaware of the fire or search’

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The family of a missing mother and her two children found safe on Wednesday released a written statement this morning.

"The Bogart family is grateful for the overwhelming support of law enforcement, our family, friends and wonderful community. We are so thankful our family members were found alive and safe.

We understand there are unanswered questions. The answers as they come, may not be shared; not as a means to cover anything, but in order to heal. We do know Monica was unaware of the fire or the search, and that she traveled at night to ensure the children would be asleep.

We ask that you respect our privacy as our family comes together. Please keep all of those involved in positive thoughts and prayers. Our daughter, Monica, and our grandchildren Kai and Oria, will return to the community soon."

The father of 7-year-old Kai, Kevin Lamping, says he picked his son up at the Earthaven Ecovillage the Black Mountain area of North Carolina, near Asheville, late Wednesday night.

According to the Earthaven website, they are dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture. They intend to become a village of at least 150 people on 56 homesites, but in recent year’s Earthaven’s membership has been around 60 members, with about 50 living on the land.

Lamping and Kai are driving back to Virginia Beach today.

Lamping says Monica was there when he went to pick up Kai.

"She seemed safe, healthy, and not under duress," he said to News 3.

Until she was found safe on Wednesday, family had not heard from Monica and her two children since Saturday night. That same day, her best friend says she watched Monica's children while she went on a date.

Early Sunday morning, her house caught fire.

Lamping says he still has every reason to believe Monica did go on a date on Saturday. As to why she left, he said he still has a "lot of unanswered questions" and did not want to comment further.

Previous coverage:

Missing mom and kids from Virginia Beach gain national attention

Timeline: What we know about missing Virginia Beach mom, two children

Ex-husband of missing Virginia Beach woman searches for answers

Police looking for missing, endangered woman after Virginia Beach house fire