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A Missing Woman Was Found After 42 Years


A Missing Woman Was Found After 42 Years

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You will not believe me if I tell you about a missing woman found after 42 years. It is hard to believe, I know. However, it’s true. Let me tell you about the disappearance of a woman and her reappearance after 42 years.

Florence Went Missing

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Her name was Florence “Flora” Stevens. The 36-year old lady was full of life. She loved adventure. Florence worked at a beautiful resort located in the Catskill Mountains.

It was August 3, 1975. She was feeling cold that night due to the flu. Florence’s husband took her to a medical practitioner in New York on the scheduled date.

Everything was fine. He dropped her on his way. She was supposed to come back in an hour after consulting with the doctor.

Hours flew away. He was waiting for his wife but she did not appear. The man searched everywhere he knew she could have been to but returned empty handed. He filed a ‘missing’ complaint in the police and they did their level best. However, she was nowhere to be found, as if vanished all of a sudden.

Since then, 42 years have sped past. He lost hope for her return long ago. It was among the unsolved cold cases.

No Explanation for Her Disappearance


Flora’s disappearance became a mystery. Everyone kept talking about her and how she had gone missing suddenly. No one had any idea of her whereabouts.

The police were in full force to find her out. However, detectives failed to gather any clue to her bizarre disappearance.

Enthusiasm soon fizzled out. Police failed to figure out what had happened to Flora. No wonder that the case became cold. Little did anyone guess that the case would be reopened after four decades.

New York State Police

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Yan Salomon was a senior investigating officer with the New York State Police. In 2017, he came across something that might offer clues to a case, pushed in the cold storage for long. However, the officer had no idea such a case existed.

She found the skeleton remains of a woman. He was desperate to identify her body. He started searching in his phone data and online as well.

A Massive Database of Missing Women

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Salomon’s next move was to call the sheriff’s office in Sullivan County. “I must talk to a detective”, he decided. The remains of the women were buried near the Catskills.

However, about 70, 000 women aged 18 years or more go missing every year in the United States. It was almost next to impossible to find out the identity of this woman.

Then, they came up with a brilliant idea.

Sullivan County Department

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By January 2016, there were active missing cases of 21, 894 women throughout the USA. And there were files of cold cases that were put in storage but still alive.

Salomon knew it was a tough case and he had to go through all the open cases for the identification of the body, whose remains he had found. Salomon had an uphill task ahead of him.

Of all the open cases, he identified only a few possibilities having similarities with the non-identified woman. And then, one from those shortlisted names stood out.

Salmon Reached Sullivan County

Salmon set out for Sullivan Country and started his research. He simplified his research by first conducting the local searches that would take him to identification of the woman.

From his experience, he was sure that the woman must have been from the area. So, he decided to comb the area for answers.

Sullivan County Sheriff Station

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Sullivan County had a years-long open case that almost matched the description. Did Salomon get the answer? Was it the missing woman found after 42 years?

Salmon requested the investigating officers to have a look at the woman’s case file if they could find out the names and addresses of the missing woman’s relatives.

It was an old case dated back to 1975. However, something clicked.

Case Handed Over

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Salomon handed the case over to the investigators in Sullivan County. The case was assigned to detective Rich Morgan. The main task for him was to set up a believable connection between the two women.

Going through Florence’s missing file, they found some important information. It was always there but the previous investigators did not give it much importance.

They found Flora’s work ID. The corpse of the woman was found in the Catskill Mountains where she used to work.

It has been already mentioned that a 36-year old woman named Flora went missing and never appeared. It was a well-known case. The only unknown thing was where she had gone.

Morgan Connected Dots

Detective Morgan was able to connect the dots. He found that the woman’s skeleton and Flora Stevens’ missing case were connected in many ways.

Morgan came to know that her husband did everything to find out her wife. The local police detectives moved heaven and earth in search of Flora and at least, got some clues to her sudden disappearance. However, nothing worked.

Flora’s husband felt depressed and died 10 years after his wife went missing.

Morgan Was Hopeful

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Morgan was still nowhere close to solving the case. He found no relatives, no acquaintances he could get some information from about Flora.

He had no idea how to prove Flora’s mortal remains had been discovered. Still, he was hopeful.

He flipped through the pages of local and national databases and finally stumbled upon one crucial clue. Flora Stevens’ social security number was still in use. Someone in Massachusetts was still using it.

Morgan Tracked Social Security Number

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Morgan tracked the number down to an elderly living facility in north Boston. He was surprised how someone had stolen a missing woman’s social security number.

Detective Morgan interrogated the staff at the facility and they confirmed that a certain Flora used the number. The woman had been there since 2001. However, her name was Flora Harris and not Flora Stevens.

Morgan Was Shocked

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Detective Morgan, along with another investigator, visited the facility. They came in for shock after what they found. “Different surnames with the same first name; however, the social security number and the birth date remain unchanged”.

The two detectives decided to talk to Flora. Was it the real Flora or was it a case of identity: theft? They must find it out.

Interrogation Started

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The detectives had only one old picture of Flora and a social security number that she used while working at the Catskill Mountains.

When the two detectives met the woman in the facility, she did something that surprised them.

She took a look at the picture and responded with a single statement “that’s me”. Then the detectives showed her a photo of her husband and she told them, “It’s Robert”.

The duo confirmed that it was the missing woman found after 42 years.

Finally Solved


When asked, Flora did not tell anything that could solve the mysteries of her sudden disappearance. She was suffering from dementia and could not recall anything in the past 42 years.

“We have no idea about why she disappeared. She cannot recall anything due to her disease.”  However, the detectives had gathered more clues.

Mbuva, who was Flora’s caregiver, gave an insight into the woman’s background. She revealed to the police that Flora’s husband had always behaved rudely with her.

The caregiver also revealed that Flora had lived her formative years in Yonkers and used to tell one sentence too often. It is “none of your business”.

With the missing woman found, Sullivan Country closed the case. The police confirmed that Flora Stevens and Flora Harris were indeed one person.

It is rare that such an old case is solved after so many years and the missing person is found. Sheriff Mike Schiff disclosed everything in a press release. However, the mystery over the skeletons is still unsolved.

After Flora was found, whose could it be? The mystery deepened……

Summary: Flora Stevens went missing on the day her husband dropped her in front of a doctor’s chamber. Flora was to consult the doctor for her cold. Her husband kept on waiting for hours but she did not reappear. Police searched high and low but without any success. After 42 years, a detective found some skeletons of a woman’s body. Was it Flora’s? Go through the blog post to know the details.