Sorry for this inconvenience.
Lightroom doesn't store images so definitely it cannot delete that.
Lightroom just keeps the reference of images.
It might be that a different catalog is open right now.
Click File -> Open Recent and choose any other catalog (if listed)
Now check whether you can see the images preview or not.
Thanks Jitendra, That is what I thought - and thats why I was freaking out a bit. I did some searching and found the images... Turns out they didn't go to the usual folder upon import. I guess I got confused with the new import screen.... Will see if I can export my jpegs successfully. I saw some threads on changing some GPU preferences etc. Might have to read about it...
Still failing to export. Just hangs.
Changing GPU settings wil not help in finding missing images.
Rather check in your pictures folder.
It goes to the location that you set in the import panel and by default it's pictures folder.
Or if you remember the name of any image then use the operating system's search option to search that.
I have found the images. I am trying to export them, but I get the beachball and no jpegs exported...