In a shocking discovery, police found a woman who went missing 42 years ago—but the recovered woman now has dementia and can’t provide a narrative for where she was all these decades, NBC News reported.
In the summer of 1975, Flora Stevens’s husband dropped her off at a hospital for a doctor’s appointment, The Washington Post reported. When he returned to pick her up, she had vanished.
On September 15 of this year, New York State police found the skeletal remains of a woman who they believed might be Flora Stevens. In order to test this theory, police opened up Stevens’s case file and tried to locate a living relative, in order to perform a DNA test on the skeleton.
Police struggled to find a living relative of Stevens—even her husband had died in 1985—but police did discover that someone was using her social security number in Massachusetts. And that’s how police found the now 78-year-old Stevens, who is currently going by “Flora Harris” and is living in a nursing home.
Police brought an old employee photograph of the missing woman to Flora in order for her to self-identify.
“She doesn’t speak in more than one or two words at a time," said Sullivan County Undersheriff Eric Chaboty to NBC News. "But she looked at the ID and said, 'Me!'"
It isn’t clear why Flora disappeared from her small New York town more than four decades ago. Authorities now know that she previously lived in New Hampshire and New York City nursing homes, but apart from that, her records are sparse.
Still, aside from her late-stage dementia, Flora is healthy and in good hands, police said.
“The main thing is that we know that Flora is safe," said Sullivan County Sheriff Mike Schiff.
[Image: Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office]