Facebook Pixel

Joan Cook

A 44 year old mother vanishes after leaving her home to walk to a friend's house

  • Last updated: December 17, 2022
  • Salem, VA
  • January 24, 2010

Overview of Joan Cook

Joan Renee Cook was a beloved daughter, mother, sister, wife, and friend.

Joan had a seven year old daughter named Ashlyn with her estranged husband, Mike. Joan frequently stayed with her boyfriend, but would often stay with Mike when her boyfriend was out of town. Joan was a dedicated employee at a retirement community where she worked as an administrative assistant. She kept to herself for the most part, wasn’t very social, and didn’t know many people in the Salem, VA area.

The day Joan vanished into thin air.

On January 24, 2010, Joan spoke with her parents on the phone for the very last time at 10:30 pm. Joan was known to call them every week, a habit she would never break. Joan was staying at Mike’s house in Salem, VA on Elderwood Road with Mike and their daughter while her boyfriend was out of town.

According to Mike, Joan left the home sometime between 11:00 pm and 11:45 pm to walk to a friend’s home down the street. The friend later told authorities that she was not home at that time and did not see Joan that night.

"There are times when she's the first person you wanna call and then you don't have that person you call anymore.” - Carol Byer, Joan’s sister.

Concern for Joann grows in the following days.

The following morning, January 25, 2010, Joan sent her final text message to a friend. The message is reported to have simply said “i love you”. This phone call was later traced to Salem, VA’s third exit on I-81 southbound.

In the following days, Joan’s sister, Carol, received a phone call from Brandon Oaks, a retirement community where Joan worked as an administrative assistant, informing her that Joan had not shown up for work for several days. After this, Carol contacts Mike, who then reports her missing to local authorities.

“And of course there’s no evidence. No proof. No nothing, but you have gut feelings. It’s just terrible, it’s something terrible you have to live with. A nightmare that never ends.” - Lucy Huffman, Joan’s mother.

Where the case stands today.

In 2010, authorities used search dogs and cadaver dogs to search the neighborhood and area around Mike’s home with no luck. Authorities also canvassed the neighborhood by knocking door-to-door to see if any neighbors had seen or heard anything on the night of Joan’s disappearance, along with conducting aerial surveillance in the area she was last seen.

Today this is considered a cold case, there is no physical evidence or signs of foul play in this case. It has been more than 12 years since Joan’s disappearance, and authorities are seemingly no closer to finding answers than they were in 2010. If you have any information regarding Joan’s case, please contact the Roanoke County Police Department at (540) 777-8635.


  1. Date Missing:January 24, 2010
  2. Birthday:February 2, 1965
  3. Current Age:59
  4. Age at Incident:44
  5. NAMUS Number:MP5156
  6. Race:Caucasian / White
  7. Gender:Female
  8. Height:5'6"
  9. Weight:120 lbs
  10. Hair Color:Brown

What's Left to be Uncovered

Featured Sources

Important People


Tap to Activate the Map


Online Resources (3)

Misc (13)

More Cases to Explore

There are currently no cases that match the selected filters.