Mother who disappeared after Virginia Beach house fire charged with arson

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A mother who disappeared for three days after a house fire in January has been charged with arson, according to police.

Lamping appeared in court on Tuesday through video conferencing, visibly upset.

Her attorney, Otis Forbes, wanted a bond hearing but the Commonwealth asked for the bond hearing to be continued until Tuesday.

Monica Lamping

At 3:15 a.m. January 22, fire officials were called to a fire at Monica Lamping's home. Firefighters searched the home and found one dog and one cat deceased inside. Two other cats were found alive and eventually reunited with their owner. Lamping and her two young children, were not home at the time of the fire.

Investigators originally believed the cause of the fire may be linked to an electrical space heater.

Monica Lamping and her two children had not been heard from by family or friends since 12:30 a.m. January 22. Her vehicle had been tracked going through the Portsmouth Downtown Tunnel at 2 a.m. After being missing for over three days, Lamping and her children were found safe. Police also said that their investigation revealed they left under their own free will.

Lamping's bond hearing is set for Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.

Both her attorney and her family declined to comment at Monday's hearing.

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