all of the images in one of my folders has a "?" and cannot be found. When selecting locate it- the files are gone completely. Is there anyway to export the files from Lightroom if the originals can't be found or re-linked?
Please have a look at the following article : https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/extract-previews-lightroom-4.html
You can export the thumbnails using the steps in the article.
You need to search your hard disk(s) for the photos. Use your operating system's search feature to search for at least one of the photos by file name.
If that doesn't work, then restore the photos from your backups.