-- After Missing For 42 Years, Woman Is Found In The Strangest Place

Imagine if you will, driving your loved one to see the doctor for a routine checkup and coming back to find them missing. That is precisely what happened to a couple from upstate New York. A man drove his wife to her doctor's appointment and told the wife that he would return as soon as it was over. The wife agreed to wait for her husband's return, so off the husband went to run his errands. 
Never once did the husband suspect anything out of the normal would transpire, yet something strange did happen. A series of events would lead the husband on one wild adventure. 
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What is Going On?

The husband went about this day around town not thinking anything was about to happen to his wife. After all, she was in a safe place, right? And there should be no safer place than a doctor's office. 
When the husband returned an hour or so later, he expected to find his wife waiting for him. Instead, he sat waiting for her, and when she did not show, he got the shock of his life.  The receptionists at the front desk explained to him that his wife was nowhere in the office. What could have possibly happened to her while he was gone? It would take a long and grueling 42 years for the mystery of where his wife went to be solved. 
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Just a Cold

The day started like any other for the Stevens. They both had their to-do lists. For Florence "Flora" Stevens, she had a doctor’s appointment she needed to get to and booked one earlier in the day. As for her husband he too had a list of things to get accomplished and so, he took Flora to the local clinic to get her cold checked out. 
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Flora's husband drove her to the clinic and dropped her off with the intentions of picking her up later. But little did he know that he would be going home alone that night. 
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Mrs. Florence Stevens

Florence or Flora for short was a 36-year-old woman full of life. She lived for adventure and excitement. Which is why it was so startling to discover she was missing when her husband went to pick her up from the local clinic.
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After all, she only went there for a cold right? It wasn't like there was some life-threatening event going on behind the scenes. Or was there? The last her husband saw her was August 3, 1975. So where exactly did she go? Was she kidnapped? What happened that fateful day?
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The Catskills Resort

The summer of 1975 was a fun roller coaster of a time. There was a vibe in the air that made everyone feel like stars and a lifestyle that people lived. It was a high time, where the parties were constant and the good times could be had by anyone, anywhere. 
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For Flora, her good time happened to be at her place of employment. She worked at the lavish and hip resort call The Concord located in the Catskills. The Concord was the place to be since it held 1,200 rooms and was a huge hit for tourists and locals to unwind. 
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Education is Important 

During the investigation into Flora's whereabout, the detectives discovered that she once attended Lincoln High School in New York. The officers on the case learned this bit of information from her application to The Concord. 
But how was an old high school name going to help the police locate Flora? With hardly anything to go on, there was one thing the detectives did know, she was married to a man named Robert Stevens. 
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Open Case

From the moment Flora went missing, no one had any clue as to how it could have happened. Was she kidnapped? Did she walk out of the clinic and never look back? 
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Not a single detective, or Robert Stevens had any clue what could have happened to Flora. Many people in the neighborhood joined in to help locate the missing woman. Everyone who became involved in the case grew curious as to where Flora was, after all, she was a nice lady. So where did she go? 
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End of the Line

You see, back in 1975 people didn't have the internet to help them locate missing family. In fact, trying to find someone was a whole different ball game with a different set of rules. And for Flora, no one knew if she had any family she might have gone off to visit. 
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Not even her husband had any ideas of where his wife could have gone to. There were no breadcrumbs leading him to her. No cellphone to track which made it incredibly difficult to figure out where she may have gone. The whole situation seemed positively hopeless. 
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Going Cold

The detectives and Flora's husband Robert tried to figure out what happened to Flora. But the days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Each new lead seemed to go nowhere, and it became clear that the detective on the case had to put a pin in solving Flora's disappearance. 
With no new leads or trails to follow, it was time to mark the case as unsolved. No one knew where Flora had gone off to and Robert needed closure. So he stopped looking for Flora and moved on with his life. Little did he know that it would take nearly half a century for the case of Robert's missing wife to be solved. 
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Fresh Eyes

After the case went cold, it would be looked at again until 2017. It was then that Yan Salomon discovered an interesting fact that would bust the case wide open. 
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Yan Salomon happened to be one of the senior investigators from New York where the case originally went unsolved. As he was going through old files, he uncovered an interesting detail that had been overlooked during the initial search for Flora.
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This Can’t Be Right

As Salomon shifted through the case, he couldn't believe his eyes. What seemed so obvious to him was completely overlooked when the case was first opened. But still there were questions that couldn't be answered right away. Questions that would eventually be answered if he could find Flora. 
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One of the main things that went through Salomon's mind was the same as everyone else's. Where was Flora? And where had she been all this time? Of course these questions were also haunting the people following the case and holding out for hope that someday Flora would be found. 
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Mystery 

Yan Salomon picked up the case for Flora and realized that there was something familiar about her case. As he continued to look over evidence, he found something that he believed solved the case.
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Yan Salomon was hesitant to break the news to friends and loved ones about his discovery that tied to Flora. You see, he found human remains and jumped to the conclusion that the woman he found was Flora. But before he could wrap up the case, he had to figure out who the remains belonged to.
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Putting the Pieces Together

Over the next several days, Salomon had to make some phone calls to determine who the remains belong to. The first call he made was to the Sullivan County Sheriff's office. Yan Salomon's first objective was to speak to the detective there and bring up the case.
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During Yan's conversation with the detective at the Sullivan office, he explained how he found remains of a woman in the Catskills area. The detective was all too happy to help solve a decade long case and decided to help Yan identify the body. 
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Playing the Numbers Game

Unfortunately, there are 70,000 women that go missing in the United States each year. This number is relatively high because some women that end up on the list are cold cases.
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For Yan's, it was going to be difficult to take on the case of Flora by himself. But with a little luck and a keen eye, he was determined to get to figure out what happened to Flora, even if that meant determining what killed her. 
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Information Overload

Luckily in today's world, we have all sorts of technological advanced that weren't around in the 1970s. Each person that goes missing is given a file that is put into storage. All Yan's had to do was access those files to figure out who's body he found and if it belonged to Flora. 
But with 21,894 cases that were considered "active" Yan's certainly had his work cut out for him. He had to go through those records to pinpoint if his discovered body matched any of the women in those files. 
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On the Hunt

Yan Salomon understood that going through 21,894 files would take more time than he had to offer. That is why he decided to get a team to help him sort through all the missing cases. 
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As you can imagine, it took some time to sort through all those open case files. But the team was determined and focused on looking for a connection to the body Salomon found. He like the rest of his team would need a little patience and a lot of luck. 
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Going the Distance

Salomon didn't just go through open files. He wanted to solve this mystery as quickly as possible. So left his team to the files and headed out to Sullivan County to do a bit of research of his own.
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Salomon had a hunch that maybe doing the footwork and seeing for himself where potential crimes took place, he could get a better understanding of the situation.
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Smart Thinking

Yan Salomon quickly realized that the woman he found came from Sullivan County. He used his wits and skills as a detective to narrow the search down even further.
All he had to do was dig a bit deeper to find the answers, and that is exactly what he did. Eventually, Salomon found the open case that matched his findings.
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Wrong Trail

After all the evidence and Yan's findings, he asked his team for one more favor. He asked his team to try to find any living relatives or friends that may be connected to the woman he found.
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Unfortunately, even after some time, neither he nor his team found any living relatives that were connected to the woman he found. And so the case of Flora remained unsolved. 
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Pieces of a Puzzle

There is no doubt that the file Yan pulled out of all the missing cases had been collecting dust for some time. But after being able to link a body with an open case was great to give closure to one family, but what about Flora?
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Flora's case was opened back in 1975. It too was lost in the slush pile of missing persons over the years. Not to mention the information within the file didn't hold a lot of information to go off of. But, no matter, Yan Salomon wasn't ready to throw in the towel. He and his team knew they were on to something they just had to dig a bit deeper. 
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Handing Off the Case

With so much time invested in cracking the case, Yan Salomon had no other choice but to hand off the Flora case to Detective Rich Morgan from the Sullivan County Police Department. Try as Salomon might, he just couldn't crack the case on his own. Not even with the highly skilled team he had. 
Det. Rich Morgan took over the extensive case and was charged with connecting Flora's case with the body Salomon located. Somehow, somewhere Der. Morgan knew there had to be a link and so he dug in. It took him some time, but after a while, he finally managed to dig up new information.
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The Missing Link

Detective Morgan hit a break when he discovered the woman's identification badge. Now, finally, they had a name to go with the body that Salomon found months prior. 
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The Id badge proved that the woman worked in the Catskill Mountains just as Flora did. But Det. Morgan discovered that the woman also went missing around the same time Flora did. 
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Stranger than Fiction

You have to understand, when Flora went missing in 1975 they didn't have the same technology we do now. There was no missing persons database, or even a way to tap into that kind of information. So the case went unsolved and stashed away in a dark room to be forgotten. 
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However, with the diligence and determination of both Yan Salomon and Rich Morgan, Flora's case wouldn't be left alone. They were going to get to the bottom of it one way or another. With a cold body of one woman and a missing person, the case just kept getting stranger and stranger. 
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On to Something

It didn't take Detective Morgan to realize he was on to something big. The more they dug up information about the Catskill Mountains the more they started to realize that something sinister was going down there. 
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After all, with one woman dead and the other missing since 1975, chances were that sooner or later, Flora's body would be found too. But in order to figure out where Flora was, Det. Morgan had to keep digging for information if he was going to crack the case.
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Here and There

What would you do if you discovered your loved one was missing? Would you search to the ends of the earth to find them? For Flora's husband, that was precisely what he did. He never stopped looking for her after that fateful day he dropped her off at the clinic. 
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No matter how long it took him, no matter how far he had to go, Flora's husband Robert was just as determined as the detectives to find her. But things wouldn't be so cut and dry for Robert.
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One Dead End After Another

As days turned into weeks and weeks into months with no sign or further clues as to where Flora went, Robert started to lose hope. It turns out that he went to his grave 10 years after reporting Flora's missing to the authorities. 
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Robert spent most of his life wondering what became of his missing wife. He never got the closer that he so rightfully deserved. But, maybe in the end that was a good thing for Robert. After all, he didn't have to keep worrying or wondering if she would walk back into his life. 
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Not Easy

With the passing of Robert, things got even more complicated for Detective Morgan. Now, with no further living relatives, Flora's case was getting colder than it ever had been before.
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Detective Morgan as well as Salomon had several hunches that they wanted to play on, but with Robert passing away, and no one else to talk to, they found themselves once again at a dead end.
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The Clue that Changed Everything

When it comes to modern technology, Detective Morgan had all that he could need to solve the case. He had the database of missing files; he had access to county records, and transcripts. But the one thing he had that would help him crap the case was the ability to search the local and national social security databases.
On a hunch, Detective Morgan scoured the Social Security Database in hopes that he would get a ping on Flora's case. And sure enough, he discovered that Flora's social security number was in use. Someone out there was using the exact same social security number that was assigned to Flora. 
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Hot on the Trail

The first thing that Det. Morgan did after discovering Flora's S.S. number was being used was to track it down. He wanted to know if it was a case of an identity thief or something else. 
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So, he went out of his way to get in touch with the assisted living facility that was nearly 250 miles away. In a small town north of Boston, Morgan would finally get some answers. 
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The Right Person?

The Detective called the home hoping to get to the bottom of the case. He spoke with several of the staff members only to discover the person at the home was named Flora. 
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With the name spot on, Morgan got his hopes up. It was then the staff mentioned that Flora's last name wasn't Stevens but Harris. Detective Morgan discovered that Harris had been there since 2001.
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Some Kind of Fraud? 

For Detective Morgan the Flora's case was getting weirder and weirder. He knew that the chances of Flora being alive were slim, but to have found someone pretending to be her would be worth a trip to the assisted living facility.
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That is exactly what Det. Morgan did. He drove down himself to ensure that who he was dealing with was in fact, Flora. After all, the case had been open for so long, he wanted to see it closed. And coming to see someone with the same first name, and birthday, but a different last name was all too coincidental.  
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What Was Going On?

In order to be absolutely sure, Det. Morgan took a colleague with him to the assisted living north of Boston. He wasn't taking any chances in cracking this case. 
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But when they finally got to the place, Det. Morgan and his colleagues were shocked to discover a new clue to this already baffling case. They brought with them a photo that only the real Flora Stevens would recognize.  
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Was it Really Her?

As the Detectives spoke with the old woman at the nursing home they were amazed by her answers to their questions. But it was what she said after shown the picture that went with her work ID at the Catskill Mountain Resort. 
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When shown the picture, she clearly pointed herself out exclaiming that it was really her. But what was even more extraordinary was her ability to point out her ex-husband Robert. It was then the detectives knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had found Flora Stevens.
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And You Are?

Unfortunately, Flora wasn't able to fill the detectives into what happened the day she disappeared. Most of the facts had slipped away and lost to dementia. 
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Granted, the detectives were thrilled to have solved a case, it still wasn't solved due to lack of information. Although Flora was alive, her memory was so far gone that she couldn't give them any further details. 
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Abuse or Neglect? 

According to Detective Morgan who spoke with Flora, he wasn't entirely sure how everything happened. In fact, even after so many years, they still didn't have a clue as to why she ran or if she was kidnapped. And due to her situation, they will never get an answer. 
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The detective believes that poor Flora may have experienced psychiatric issues that lead her down the path to run away. Even Flora's caregiver Mbuva, couldn't really fill in any gaps. All they could piece together was that Flora had a really bad marriage and was in an abusive relationship a long time ago. 
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What Happened to Her?

For those working on the case, many of them believe that Flora took the opportunity and ran from the relationship as soon as she could. Some have pointed out how easy it could have been for her to grab a bus ticket and skipped town. 
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When you really think about it, Flora's story is a lot like the movie "Sleeping with the Enemy." She bolted from a bad relationship and luckily for her, she wasn't found until later in her long life. As for the detectives, they know that their answers can be found in Flora's memory, but that they will never really be able to put the case to bed. 
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Hidden for a Reason

Flora's caretaker Mbuva has been with Flora for a long time. When questioned by the detectives, he shed a bit of light on the situation by saying how Flora didn't want to be found.
He also went on to express how he could tell a lot happened to Flora earlier in life. It was clear by Flora's demeanor that she had been through a lot and when she had a chance to bail, she took it. 
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A Bit about Flora

One thing is known about Flora, she hails from Yonkers and her catch phrase happens to be "none of your business." According to her caregiver and others who have spent time around her, this is her go-to saying and she is sticking with it. 
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As for the detective they were happy to have closed the case of Flora Stevens saying how it is a neat feeling. But above all, they are happy to know that Flora is safe and lived a long and happy life.
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Put to Bed

Sullivan County was able to close the case on Flora, despite the fact that all this time they were searching for Flora Stevens and not Flora Harris. Still, they deserved it due to how many man-hours and years it took to solve it. 
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According to the Sheriff Make Schiff, it's not every day they solve 42-year-old cases. The fact that they were able to hunt down Flora and find her still alive was a great feeling. If only all cases had such happy endings. 
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Goodbye

While it may have taken 42 years to find Flora, the detectives solved more than one case. They figured out who the remains Salomon found belong to as well as what happened to Flora.
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The most important thing is that Flora was safe and sound. When the detectives left Flora, she simply gave them a smile and a wave and wished them well. Surely it was the happy ending that the detectives were hoping for

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