happyworld - Woman Who Went Astray Half A Decade Ago Leaves Detectives Baffled When They Find Out Her Truth In 2017

Life is always so unpredictable. You will never know what the next moment has in store for you. You can be extremely happy one minute, and outrageously mad the other moment.
Someone can be leading an absolutely wonderful life one moment, and suddenly go missing the next moment, away from their family, their relatives, everyone. No matter how hard you try, you will never know where, why and how they vanished…until almost half a century passes by.
And things take an absolutely unthinkable turn when you find out the truth behind the mystery of such lives.

Florence Stevens

Florence Flora Stevens, born in 1939, had been living a happy life in Sullivan, or so it seemed. Nothing unusual had happened in her life until the year 1975, which changed everything for her and for everyone around her. 

Husband

Florence and her husband Robert Stevens had been married for ten years when in 1975 the biggest tragedy of their life hit them. Florence was 36 years old and life seemed to be running pretty smoothly until one ominous day.. 

Checkup

On the 3rd August of 1975, Florence complained of feeling sick. Her husband took her to the hospital to get a checkup done. He dropped Florence at the hospital and told her he would come back in an hour or so. 

Nothing Unusual

Florence had told that she might have caught a little cold and so she had taken an appointment to get it checked. Her husband dropped her and went to complete some unfinished errands. But when he came back to pick her up from the hospital, he was perplexed. 

Lost

When Robert reached the hospital, his wife was not there. They had both decided that he would come to pick her up in an hour so where could she possibly go? He started to grow wary and asked the reception of the hospital about Florence. 

Receptionist


The receptionist told Robert that Florence never even came inside the hospital. She was nowhere in sight. He waited for her for very long, hours after hours passed but Florence was nowhere to be seen. 

Full Of Life

Florence had been a very happy person, who was always full of life. She loved everyone around her and was always smiling no matter what the situations were. Where had she gone suddenly? And why would she do that? 

Work

Florence had been living a good life, one which anyone would be satisfied with. During the summer of 1975, she worked as a seasonal worker at The Concord in Catskills, sometimes as a waitress and sometimes as a chambermaid. 

Lavish Place

Florence had a deep connection with The Concord, where she worked not just in 1975 but also in 1974 and 1973. The place had a lavish 1200 room set and was very famous among the travelers of the time. Was her case that of a missing related to the Concord?

Detectives

When Robert failed in finding Florence despite trying his best, he informed and hired a team of detectives to find his lost wife. He was not even sure if she was okay or if something bad had happened to her. 

Left Alone

Years passed but there was no clue about Florence’s case, which was now known as the ‘Sullivan County case’. After a decade of the incident, even Robert passed away and there was no one to ask about Florence now since the two had no family or relatives except for themselves. 

Given Up

The team of officials gave up on Florence’s case. There was no clue that could at least give a vague idea about where could she be. Little did they know that this mystery would be solved only after half a decade.

2017

42 years had passed, and Florence Flora Stevens was forgotten, or was she? She was never declared dead, she was never declared as living either. Her mystery had remained unaltered. But suddenly in 2017, strings were going to reconnect. 

Yan Salomon

Salmon, a senior investigator with the New York State Police called up the detective bureau in Sullivan County in the Catskills. Why? Had he found out Florence? Or did he have at least some idea about where she could be? 

September 15

When Salomon called the sheriff on the morning of September 15th in 2017, he told him that he had found a female skeleton one county over Catskills but was unable to make out whose body it was. Could it be Florence’s? 

Reports

To find out whose skeleton it was, Salomon was going through the cases of missing people in the near regions but it would’ve been impossible to find out the truth this way because nearly 70,000 women go missing in the United States each year. 

Possibility

Out of the 70,000 women that go missing on an average, many even return or are found. But during the time when Salomon found the skeleton, there were still 21,894 active cases. What was the possibility of it being Florence out of them all?

Connection

The Sullivan sheriff opened up Florence’s case and revived it. But the question was, how would they prove if it was even Florence or not because Florence had no alive relatives in 2017 on whom a DNA test could be performed. 

Followers

By this time, almost the whole of Sullivan County was following Florence’s case. Everybody had so many questions on their minds. Was the woman alive? Was she dead? Was she murdered? Or did she run away?

Another Clue

There was one more clue that Rich Morgan, the Sullivan county sheriff had gained after he reopened Florence’s case file. And this clue was going to bring a major turn in the journey of Florence’s case. 

Suspense

Morgan found out that someone had been using Florence’s Social security number, 237 miles away in Massachusetts. Was Florence alive? Or was it someone who had stolen her identity and was living under her identity? 

Tracked

The detectives went down to work since the case was getting very intrinsic now. They tracked down the place where Florence’s social security number was being used. It was in Lowell, Boston that a person had been living with the number. 

Identity Stolen?

The sheriff called up the place in Lowell, which turned out to be Care One Assisted Living Facility. And when they asked to whom did that social security number belong, they told it was a woman named Flora Harris. Someone named Flora but not Stevens. What was even happening? 

Confusion

“Same first name, different last name, but the same birth date and social security,” the detective told CBS Boston. This person named Flora Harris had been living in Lowell since 2001. Who was she? 

To Lowell

On October 24, 2017, Rich Morgan and his team decided to visit Lowell and solve the mystery once and for all. When they reached the facility, they understood at once what was going on and the decade-old mystery was about to be solved finally. 

Revelation

There sat on a wheelchair a 78-year-old woman, hair falling to her shoulder, with bright green eyes, who could only speak a word or two maximum, given her psychological problem. The woman suffered from dementia. 

Answers

Morgan was carrying a picture of Florence which he came across when he found her work ID. His last console was to show the picture to this 78-year-old woman and find some answers. You won’t believe what followed next… 

The Picture

“She looked at the ID and her face lit up and she said ‘me!’,” Sullivan County Undersheriff Eric Chaboty said when they showed the picture to the lady. “She recognized it right away.” Yes, it was Florence Flora Stevens, but why had she changed her name?

Nothing Else

The difficulty came in when the officials came to know that Florence had been suffering from dementia and she does not remember at all what her past had been like, and so there were no answers to all the whys and hows. 

Unforgettable

Florence had forgotten everything from the last 42 years, but when the sheriff showed her husband’s photograph, she immediately replied with the name ‘Robert’. That is when everyone became sure that she was the same person who went missing 42 years back. 

Problematic Past

What comes as the only conceivable explanation for her vanishing away is Florence’s past. “To be honest, I don’t think she ever really wanted to be found,” said Festus Mbuva, a former worker at the Boston-area facility. “You can tell something happened in her past that she didn’t want any part of.”

Domestic Violence

Florence slightly remembers that her husband used to beat her and not treat her well. “We really don’t know the circumstances of why or how she disappeared. She had psychiatric problems leading up to that point,” the detective said.

Medical Records

The sheriff dug a little deeper and found some medical records under the name of Flora Harris. Before being in Lowell, the medical records revealed that Florence had also been in New Hampshire and Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. 

Case Closed

By finding Flora Harris after 42 long years, the officials are more than elated that the case can finally be closed. When everybody had given all hopes of ever finding Florence, or ever reopening the case to solve it, it all came out out of the blue. 

Ran Away?

It could have been possible that Florence must’ve run away from her husband by making an excuse of the appointment in the hospital. “She had just been paid, probably had a weekend full of tips in her pocket,” said Sullivan County sheriff’s Detective Rich Morgan, who thinks she might’ve run away with that money. 

Phrase

Festus Mbuva noted she never gave up told much about herself to anyone. “Her favorite phrase was ‘none of your business'”, he told. And it seems that Florence really lived up to her favorite phrase, and vanished without thinking about anyone. 

An Unresolved Mystery

Even though Florence has been found, and the Sullivan County Case has been closed, some questions will always remain. “Most of the secrets are locked inside of Flora,” Morgan said. “And I don’t think we’ll ever get them.”

Unique Case

The case of Sullivan County has been one of its kind really. “It is not too often that you get to solve a 42-year-old missing person case,” Sheriff Mike Schiff said in a release. And even rare when the mystery is solved but the questions still remain. 

Technology

Thanks to technology that the case could be solved. It would have been impossible to connect the dots of a 42-year-old case otherwise. “The techniques and databases we have now are -” Morgan snapped his fingers, “It’s so fast. We’re able to narrow things down more quickly than we ever did before.”

Positive Outcome

“Whenever you take a missing person’s case, you always hope the outcome is positive,” Undersheriff Chaboty said. And that is all that should matter in the case of Florence as well. No matter what the circumstances, she is at least alive, and safe.

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