PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KETK) The family of a missing Panola County woman has doubled the reward for information about her disappearance and a tipline for people to call.
According to the Panola County Sheriff’s Office, the reward is now up to $10,00 for information leading to her whereabouts.
“This was in response to indications that many in the small East Texas community knew what happened to Lauren Thompson but feared retaliation from those involved or for one reason or another were apprehensive about talking to local police in general,” the family released in a statement.
Thompson has been missing since January 17, 2019. She went missing from the Rock Hill community at the age of 32.
Her cell phone died during the call and she has not been heard from since.
Sheriff Kevin Lake said in a statement that Thompson said during the call she was in a wooded area and thought someone was chasing her.
The statment said Thompson sounded disoriented and confused in the call.
“One person she was with told us they had been in the area, reportedly fishing.” The friend had been in the car with Lauren when he said she ran off the road. “He said he then told her he was going to walk to his house to get a vehicle to get them out of the mud, but then she took off running into the woods.”
Officers were able to get a relative fix on her location based on cell phone pings.
They later found her car in a ditch off Farm-to-Market Road 1794, just west of Rock Hill.
A search was conducted for several hours using “off-road ATV, tracking dogs and a law enforcement heat detecting drone with no positive results.”
Investigators remained throughout the night and are still searching for leads.
Lauren’s three children, aged 3, 5, and 9, are currently living with Colvin in Fort Worth.
Thompson’s family has offered a $5,000 reward for information in the case.
If you have any information, you can also call the Panola County Sheriff’s office at 903-693-0333.
In the United States, there are more than 16,700 open missing persons cases. 1,317 of those are in the state of Texas.
KETK has a series dedicated to the more than 80 people missing in the East Texas area.
It tells the stories of what we know about their disappearances.
These are the faces of those missing in East Texas.