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Massachusetts Dementia Patient Found To Be Woman Reported Missing 42 Years Ago

Back in 1975, Robert Stevens reported that his wife, Flora, had gone missing. He had dropped her off at a hospital in Monticello, New York, and she was gone when he returned. Efforts to find the woman proved to be fruitless and the case remained unsolved.

Robert would pass away in 1985, but recent developments led investigators to take a deeper look at the cold case. Remains were found in the area that fit the general description of the missing woman, but that turned out not to be the case.

However, that led them to do even more digging, and they would use modern databases to cross-check the missing woman’s information. They would discover that there was a woman in Lowell, Massachusetts that was using the same social security number.

That woman was identified as Flora Harris, and she was tracked down at an assisted living facility, where she has been residing as a dementia patient.

As the Daily Mail shares, investigators would head to the facility to show the woman a picture of the missing woman, and she would confirm that they were, in fact, one and the same. It remains unclear how the woman wound up there - or what led her to vanish in the first place - but investigators are working on a timeline to piece things together.

"To be honest, I don't think she ever really wanted to be found,” noted a former worker at the facility that used to care for her. "You can tell something happened in her past that she didn't want any part of.”

That employee also indicates that her husband had been abusive to her, so perhaps that’s what led her to seek greener pastures. At the time of her disappearance, she had been working as a chambermaid at an upscale hotel in the Catskills region.

“She had just been paid, probably had a weekend full of tips in her pocket,” noted Sullivan County sheriff's Detective Rich Morgan.

Outside of that, they don’t have much to go off of. The woman’s declining health leaves her incapable of filling in the blanks. Detectives have been able to put together a trail of care at various facilities based on her social security number, but the details of her disappearance remain unclear.

During that timeframe, the Catskills attracted a number of transient workers, and it wasn’t uncommon for those workers to up and leave once they had earned some cash.

Her husband dropped her at the hospital, and it remains unclear what she was there for in the first place. The detectives are hoping that photos and whatnot will help to trigger some memories from Flora, but they’re not optimistic about that happening.

“Most of the secrets are locked inside of Flora,” Morgan added. “And I don't think we'll ever get them.”

Photos of the elderly woman and the detectives have been dropped on social media, so it’ll be interesting to see if that leads detectives with a new trail to follow to get to the bottom of this woman’s story.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: 11Alive/Facebook, Sullivan Co. Sheriff's Office, Nomp/Wikimedia, Google Maps

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