Joan Renee Cook
Joan, approximately 2010
Date reported missing : 01/24/2010
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 02/02/1965 (56)
Age at the time of disappearance: 44 years old
Height / Weight : 5'6, 120 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A black jacket, a red sweater, blue jeans, low-top Timberland shoes, a gold ring with her initials "JRC" on her right hand and a gold watch on her left arm.
Medical conditions : Cook had been taking anti-depressant medication for years prior to her disappearance.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Cook may go by her middle name, Renee, or the nickname Renny. She has a tattoo of a frog on the small of her back and a tattoo of a flower bEthnicity : let on her ankle, and her ears are pierced. Cook's pinky fingers are both bent inward at the last joint.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Joan was last seen walking away from her husband's home on Elderwood Road in Salem, Virginia at 11:00 p.m. on January 24, 2010. She was en route to a friend's house, but the friend wasn't home at the time and it's unclear whether she ever ever arrived there.
Joan had been married for 22 years by the time she went missing, but her marriAge at the time of disappearance: was troubled and she and her husband, Mike, were separated. Mike had initially moved to Iowa in 2007 to find a job, with the plan being for his wife and daughter to join him there later. Joan began seeing another man while her husband was gone, and when Mike found out he returned to Virginia. According to Joan's sister, Mike stalked Joan and her boyfriend, but didn't actually make threats against them.
By the time she disappeared, Joan was living with her boyfriend and planned to divorce Mike when finances allowed. Her boyfriend had visitation with his daughter every other weekend, and during those times Joan would stay with her husband and their daughter. It was on one of the visitation weekends, while Joan was with her husband, that she disappeared. Mike said Joan behaved normally that night before leaving the house at 11:00 p.m. and never coming back.
The last contact with her was a cellular phone text messAge at the time of disappearance: sent to the friend she was supposedly going to see the night of her disappearance, sent at at 5:00 a.m. on January 26. The text simply said "I love you." At the time, Joan was at the third Salem exit southbound on Interstate-81. Mike reported her missing on January 31.
A search of Mike's home turned up no evidence of foul play, and the couple's daughter, then seven years old, said she hadn't heard anything unusual that night. Mike took the child and moved back to Iowa after Joan went missing. Joan's boyfriend was ruled out as a suspect in her case because he was visiting his daughter out of town that weekend.
It's uncharacteristic of Joan to leave without warning and abandon her young daughter. She was carrying a purse, wallet, house keys, a green duffel bag containing clothes and makeup, and a beige toiletries bag at the time of her disappearance. Since she went missing, her cellular phone and bank accounts have not been used.
Police believe someone close to Joan knows what happened to her. Her case remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Roanoke County Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
Virginia State Police
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
The Roanoke Times
Interactive Missing Person Search Map