More than two months have passed since an Illinois mother disappeared after helping an acquaintance drive up north, and her daughter is worried.
Laura Wolfe-Orlovich, 46, of Marion, Illinois, has not been seen or heard from since the middle of July, her daughter, Amber Whitlock, told Dateline.
Amber, who moved from Illinois to Florida in 2011, said she talks to her mom every day.
“She’s my best friend,” Amber told Dateline. “There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t talk. So to go almost 75 days now without speaking to her… is just unbearable.”
Amber last spoke to her mom on July 15, 2020. When she tried to call her a couple of days later, her mother’s phone was off.
“My mom’s phone is never off,” Amber explained. “She always has it on. To play music. To play games. It’s her communication. So right away, something felt wrong. It was just alarming.”
Amber said she began calling around the Marion area to ask if anyone had seen or heard from her mom.
Her mom’s roommates told her that Laura had left the house on July 15 with an acquaintance she had met through a previous roommate. The man, known as “Snoop,” asked her to help drive up north to Chicago, Illinois because his son had been killed. He had told both Laura and her roommates that he needed her to drive because his license was suspended and he was distraught. She agreed and told the roommates she’d be back on Friday.
“That’s who she is,” Amber explained. “If anyone needs help, she’s always right there to help. Especially when it has to do with a child. I think that story tugged on her heart strings.”
The roommates told Amber that Laura and the man left in his gold 1998 GMC Yukon SUV. The next day, Laura called her roommates and stated she was in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She told them she was stuck and needed help getting a ride home.
“They were working on getting her a train or bus ticket home,” Amber said. “And then she called them again early Friday morning. And sounded even more desperate to get home. Both times the roommates heard a man yelling at her to get off the phone. That was the last time anyone spoke to her.”
Laura’s phone was shut off later that day, Amber said. Amber continued to try calling her mom on Friday and Saturday. But the phone had died. On Sunday, July 19, Amber filed a missing persons report with the Marion Police Department in Marion, Illinois.
Detective Chris Ramage is the lead detective on the case.
“It’s an ongoing and active case right now and every angle is being worked and developed,” Det. Ramage told Dateline. “We encourage anyone who might have seen Laura or knows her whereabouts to call police.”
Detective Ramage confirmed that Laura was last known to be with a male acquaintance and that she was last spotted in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He declined to offer any further details on the case due to it being an ongoing investigation.
Amber told Dateline that her mother would have never run off and leave her life behind. Laura has family and friends in Marion, Illinois, along with her dog, Daisy.
“She has this dog, Daisy, who’s pretty much her baby,” Amber said. “She would have never just left her. It was like one of her children.”
And Laura had big plans for the next few months. Her mother, who has dementia, has been living with Amber in Florida for the last few years, and Laura was packed up and scheduled to move down there at the end of July to help with her care. Laura is also about to be a grandmother.
“I’m 30 weeks pregnant,” Amber said. “My mom is supposed to be here. To go through this with me. To help me be a good mom like her. She’s supposed to be here for my baby.”
Since July, Amber has been passing out fliers and posting to social media, including to the page “Where is Laura Wolfe/Orlovich?” trying to find out what happened. And she is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to her mother’s whereabouts.
“The community has really come together to try to find out what happened to my mom,” Amber said. She describes her mom as a wonderful person who is funny and has a big heart.
“She’s never met a stranger,” Amber explained. “It’s a blessing and a curse. Because that’s what I’m afraid got her into trouble. She’s too trusting. I’m just worried something happened. We just need to get her home.”
Laura is described as being 5’6" tall and weighing approximately 200-225 pounds with long, curly light brown hair and blue eyes. She has two tattoos, one on her lower back and a hummingbird and flower on her thigh.
Anyone who may have information about Laura’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Marion Police Department in Marion, Illinois, at 618-993-2124.