@@ This Woman Had Been Missing For 42 Years When They Finally Closed The Case

 This man from upstate New York took his wife to the doctor but discovered something unusual when it was time to fetch her. Several hours after he dropped her off, it was time to pick her up and go home. When he got to the doctor’s office, his wife was nowhere to be seen.

Nowhere In Sight

He returned and waited for his wife to show up. She never did. Where was she and what happened? What could have happened to her in the first place? The case was closed only 42 years later.

Nowhere in Sight

Nowhere In Sight

Nothing More Than A Cold

He brought her to the medical appointment of hers earlier that day. They did not find anything unusual about her, only a bad head cold. He dropped off his wife and told her he would be back in an hour or so.

Nothing More Than A Cold

Florence Stevens

She was Florence “Flora” Stevens. Her husband last saw her on the 3rd of August 1975. She had been 36-year-old at the time. She was full of life and adventure, so how did she vanish into thin air like that?

Florence Stevens

Florence Stevens

A Resort In The Catskills

During the summer of 1975, Flora Stevens worked at the Catskill Mountains. The resort was called the Concord, and it was a 1,200-room resort that was very popular among the tourists living in the area.

A Resort In The Catskills

Educated

From her application, the detectives learned that she went to Lincoln High School in New York. While they did not have tons of information on her, they knew that her husband was Robert Stevens.

Educated

Opening The Case

No one had any idea where she could have gone. As soon as the investigation was open, people started to look for this woman. Everyone was shocked by the disappearance. Where did this nice woman go?

Reopening the Case

Opening The Case

The End Of The Road

Sadly, clues started to arrive less and less. They did not find living relatives of Florence, so it was almost impossible to figure out where she was born. It seemed like the end of the road for everyone back then.

The End Of The Road

No One Could Have Known

The case had to go cold because no one had any leads on what could have happened to her. No one had any clue that this disappearance case would be reopened around half a decade after this.

No One Could Have Known

Senior Investigator Yan Salomon

In 2017, Yan Salomon found something that seemed to answer questions in a case he did not know even existed in the first place. What did the Senior Investigator at the New York State Police find?

Senior Investigator Yan Salomon

Senior Investigator Yan Salomon

Looming Questions

As you might have guessed, it had something to do with the Florence “Flora” Stevens case. Did he find her? Where was she? Was she safe? Many questions needed answering in this case.

Looming Questions

Skeletal Remains

However, he did not come bearing great news. He found a woman, that was true, but he only found skeletal remains! He needed help to identify who this person was. Could she be Flora Stevens?

Skeletal Remains

Make Some Calls

He needed to get his phone and make several calls. He called the Sullivan County sheriff’s office and asked for a detective. He needed help to learn more about the body he found in the Catskills area.

Make Some Calls

Too Hard

In the United States, about 70,000 adult women disappear every single year. It was going to be hard for him to solve this case without relying on help from other people. Luckily, he had a brilliant idea.

Too Hard

Too Hard

Information At Their Disposal

As of January 2016, there had been 21,894 active missing women cases across the U.S. They kept records of cold cases in storage, which meant they could gain access to the data that they needed.

Information At Their Disposal

Looking For Her

Salomon was aware that this would be hard, so he assembled a team to work on the open cases. They were tasked to look for similarities to the remains they found. This way, they could find this woman.

Looking for Her

Looking For Her

Welcome To Sullivan County

Even though it was a long shot, he drove to Sullivan County to conduct his very own research. He wanted to make it easy by working on local searches. He was hopeful that it would help crack the case.

Welcome to Sullivan County

Welcome To Sullivan County

An Open Case

He could tell that the woman came from this area. What he needed then was answers to the questions he had. He found an open case that appeared to match the description of the findings he had on hand.

An Open Case

Looking For Answers

Could this be the answer that he had been waiting for all this time? He asked the detectives to see if this woman had any living relatives. Much to his dismay, the records indicated that there were none.

Looking for Answers

Looking For Answers

It All Came Together

The missing woman file was rather old. The case was opened in 1975 and did not provide a lot of Salomon a lot of information. However, something clicked for him anyway. What could it have been?

It All Came Together

New Information

Salomon deferred this case to the Sullivan County detectives. It went to the hands of Det. Rich Morgan, who was tasked to look for a connection between the women. He dug up something new soon enough.

New Information

Connecting The Dots

It turns out that they found a work ID, which revealed that this woman had been employed at the Catskill Mountains in the past. It was found in the same place as the remains of the other woman.

Connecting the Dots

Connecting The Dots

Fascinating News

A 36-year-old woman by the name of Flora Stevens disappeared back in 1975. Get ready because we are about to tell you something mind-blowing about this face. It is surprising, we will tell you that.

Fascinating News

The Missing Woman

Det. Morgan managed to solve the puzzle in front of him! As far as he was concerned, this cold case and the corpse did seem to be connected. He launched an investigation into the location of Flora Stevens.

The Missing Woman

The Missing Woman

Looked Far And Wide

When she went missing, her husband worked hard to look for her anywhere that seemed plausible. He just dropped off his wife at the doctor’s and had no idea that was the last time he would ever see her.

Looked Far And Wide

Another Dead End

The investigation started from then on. It was sad that they did not have a lot of new information about her. He died a decade after her disappearance. It seemed like that case was simply full of dead ends.

Another Dead End

How Would He Do It?

Det. Morgan was aware that it was not going to be fun and games since Flora Stevens had no living relatives. He did not know what he could do to prove that the remains Yan Solomon found were hers.

How Would He Do It?

Her Social Security Number

He went through the local and national databases. It was then that he found something crucial. It seems like there was someone out there using the social security number of Flora Stevens! Who is it?

Her Social Security Number

Her Social Security Number

250 Miles From There

He tracked down the number to a place not far from Boston. He could not believe what he found. Someone had been using the social security number of a missing person in an assisted living home.

250 Miles From There

A Different Last Name

He called the facility. They told him that the record did belong to an individual called Flora. They had her last name listed down as Harris instead of Stevens. This woman had been there since 2001!

250 Miles from There

A Different Last Name

Identity Fraud

Det. Morgan went to the facility with another investigator. The two of them were shocked by what they found there. As you can see, they clearly had no idea where this cold case was about to take them.

Identity Fraud

Identity Fraud

Possible Identity Theft

Here was what Det. Morgan told CBS Boston when he talked to them: “Same first name, different last name, but the same birth date and social security.” It was clear that they had to talk to this woman.

Possible Identity Theft

Just Her Photograph

They brought the sole photo of Flora that they saw in the database. It was a photo lifted from her work ID at the Catskill Mountains. They got to the establishment and introduced themselves to this woman.

Found Her

Just Her Photograph

Found Her

Her reaction showed them completely! She held the photo and pointed at the woman. Det. Morgan said, “She says that’s me, or me, she responded with one word, me.” When they showed her a photo of her husband, they knew that she was the one they were looking for. After all, she said, “Robert.”

Found Her

She Couldn’t Remember

Sadly, the elderly woman could not answer any questions they had about her disappearance. Why? Well, Flora is suffering from dementia and could not remember anything about the past 42 years.

She Couldn’t Remember

An Abusive Husband

Det. Morgan recounted, “We really don’t know the circumstances of why or how she disappeared. She had psychiatric problems leading up to that point.” Her caregiver by the name of Mbuva revealed what he knew of her previous life. Apparently, the older woman had a bad marriage and an abusive spouse.

An Abusive Husband

Maybe She Ran

The detectives now believe that she got a bus ticket and left town to escape her terrible husband. Det. Morgan said, “Most of the secrets are locked inside of Flora, and I don’t think we’ll ever get them.”

Maybe She Ran

She Didn’t Want To Be Found

Festus Mbuva, her caretaker for over a decade, said, “To be honest, I don’t think she ever really wanted to be found. You can tell something happened in her past that she didn’t want any part of.”

She Didn’t Want To Be Found

She’s Safe

Flora grew up in Yonkers and said ‘none of your business’ often. Eric Chaboty, the Sullivan County Undersheriff, said, “It’s a neat feeling [to find someone]. The main thing is we know that Flora is safe.”

She’s Safe

Solved But Unsolved

At long last, they solved the mystery of the disappearance of Flora Stevens. During the press release, Sheriff Mike Schiff said, “It is not too often that you get to solve a 42-year-old missing person case.”

Solved but Unsolved

Solved But Unsolved

A Smile And Wave

It took 42 years, but they finally found out what happened to a woman who vanished into thin air. Sadly, we do not know all the answers. The 78-year-old woman only smiled and waved from her wheelchair!

Thankfully the authorities ended up finding Flora, but would pre-school sweethearts Matt and Laura ever be reunited after so many years apart? Only time would tell…

A Smile And Wave

From A Young Age

Nearly 25 years ago, Laura and Matt first met at a preschool. They were both 3 years old when they first got to know each other. Their parents did not think much of their bond, but they became inseparable.

From A Young Age

From A Young Age

The Early Days

During an interview with Today, Matt revealed, “I don’t remember the first time I saw her, but she was always a girl who let me follow her around.” All of this would lead to something incredible!

The Early Days

The Early Days

Safety Buddies

The two first got to know one another even better during a school trip. Each kid had to pair up with a “safety buddy”. The two stuck together and did not stay away from each other during the entire trip!

Safety Buddies

Silly Matt

Soon, Laura figured out that he was a kind and warm person who wanted to be her pal. It did not take long before they became best friends who were basically joined at the hip no matter what they did.

Silly Matt

Silly Matt

Not Just At Preschool

It seemed like their bond was not limited at the preschool either. Their folks noticed the bond between the two and organized playdates for the kids. They even went to the movies together at times!

Not Just At Preschool

Not Just At Preschool

Protecting Laura

One time, they had been at the movies together when Matt displayed just how much he cared for Laura. He held her hand whenever something scary was about to happen! Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?

Protecting Laura

Protecting Laura

Impressing Laura

One of his favorite Disney films was Lion King. Other kids bragged about their parents, but Matt would much prefer to recite his favorite lines from the movie. He did this to impress his best pal.

Impressing Laura

Impressing Laura

The Teacher

Without a doubt, she was impressed by the way he recited them. However, he was more impressed by her. She taught him how to use the swings, draw rolling hills, and eat string cheese properly!

The Teacher

The Teacher

Winning Her Over

When they were celebrating Cinco De Mayo, he impressed Laura once more. The other kids were busy working on the pinata when he swung hard enough to crack it open! Matt recounted, “Fortunately, I was the kid who managed to do it and I assume it got her attention.”

Winning Her Over

Winning Her Over

Young Love

The two of them were four years old, but they could already be described as “love birds.” They might have been very young, but this did not stop him from letting everyone know about how he felt for her!

Young Love

Young Love

Declaring His Love

As a matter of fact, he announced to the whole class that he would one day marry Laura! Everyone thought this was amusing. He only went on to say, “Just you wait!” How adorable is that?!

Declaring His Love

Declaring His Love

Birthday Parties

The two stayed close and spent time at one another’s birthday parties. Laura and Matt were still as thick as thieves. They went on adventures and went on play dates. Will things change after preschool?

Birthday Parties

Birthday Parties

Fearing The Future

There were plenty of things to worry about now that they were headed for kindergarten. Would they be in the same class? It was hard to imagine their separation. They did not want to be separated, of course.

Fearing The Future

Fearing The Future

Different Schools

It turns out that things were even worse than that. They were not just in different classes, but they went to different schools! Despite everything, their parents promised that they would still set up playdates.

Different Schools

Different Schools

Shaky Promises

Laura and Matt still saw each other on the weekends and spent time together. They probably had a lot of things to catch up on. They had new pals and new experiences that the other did not know about.

Shaky Promises

Shaky Promises

Drifting Apart

The weekly visits started to happen less frequently. Soon, they were moving on from kindergarten and seeing each other much less. The photo here shows them during Christmas time. The holidays would soon be the only time they had together.

Drifting Apart

Drifting Apart

Just Christmas

Time went on and their contact was reduced to Christmas cards each year. They used to play every single day, but things have changed. They made lots of new friends, but their bond was still special.

Just Christmas

Just Christmas

Growing Up

Years passed and the cards started to become less sentimental and less frequent. No one could blame the shift in the dynamics. They grew up and grew apart. It was now time for them to mature.

Growing Up

Growing Up

High School

High school sure seems a long time away from preschool. It was not a surprise that they did not think about each other all that often. However, something happened that changed everything for the two.

High School

High School

An Accident

When Laura was a freshman, she had been scrolling through the phone of a friend when something caught her eye. She saw a name that she knew very well in the past. Were her eyes deceiving her?

An Accident

An Accident

Heartwarming Memories

She could not believe her eyes. The screen read, “Matt Grodsky.” Why was the name of her childhood sweetheart on her friend’s screen? It was inevitable that she would be flooded by memories of the past.

Heartwarming Memories

Heartwarming Memories

A Different Plan

When she regained her composure, she told her friend about their special bond from the past. It turns out that her friend knew him from middle school! She decided to forget about it, but her friend did not.

A Different Plan

A Different Plan

Setting Them Up

Her friend could not believe the incredible story Laura just said. She wanted the two childhood lovers to meet up again! Laura felt hesitant about this. After all, she and Matt had not been in touch for years.

Setting Them Up

Setting Them Up

Going Ahead

While they talked about Matt, Laura said she did not know if she should get a boyfriend. She told PEOPLE, “I was a freshman in high school so I was like, ‘I don’t think so!’” She was nervous about her friend’s plan. Despite this, her friend gave Laura’s number to Matt!

Going Ahead

Going Ahead

Matt’s Move

Matt felt an urge to text Laura after he got the number. He sent her a text, even though he was not sure how she would react. When she responded, he knew that there was nothing for him to worry about.

Matts Move

Matt’s Move

Seeing Her

What did Matt notice about her after spending such a long time apart? Apparently, it was the infectious smile on her face! He recalled how he felt about her smiley nature, “She always had a huge smile.”

Seeing Her

Seeing Her

The First Date

Soon enough, the two of them scheduled a date to watch a movie like they used to. When they met again, Matt said that it felt like love at first sight! The two got along right away like they did in the past.

The First Date

The First Date

Like Old Times

The date went smoothly, and they started to become boyfriend and girlfriend not long after this. They now had their driver’s licenses, so they could drive to see each other. It did not matter that they attended different schools. They also went to school functions and dances together!

Like Old Times

Like Old Times

College Coming Up

They had already been separated before, but it was different when it comes to college. They wanted to remain together, but this was hard since they planned to go to colleges in different states. “Right after we graduated from high school, we were pretty hesitant,” Laura explained to People. “We were like, ‘Do we stay together? Do we try to make it work?’”

College Coming Up

College Coming Up

Long Distance

They did not want to make things hard for each other. Matt planned to attend Columbia College in Chicago, while Laura was set to go to Northern Arizona University. They had 1,600 miles in between them but felt determined to make this relationship work.

Long Distance

Long Distance

Staying In Touch

Even though it was hard for them, they did not want to lose each other again. They spoke to each other every day through Facetime and visited whenever they possibly could to keep the relationship alive!

Staying In Touch

Staying In Touch

6 Months

They were happy that social media existed. It let them stay up to date with what was going on in each other’s lives. Despite this, they missed each other a lot. They were once apart for 6 months!

6 Months

6 Months

The Perfect Throwback

Soon enough, the two of them were seniors in college. Matt decided to arrange a unique date for him and Laura. He decided to take her out on a picnic in their preschool! He wanted it to be a surprise.

The Perfect Throwback

The Perfect Throwback

A Secret Plan

“I convinced Laura that we were going to a picnic at the preschool. We had just finished up our junior year of college, so I framed it as a nice relaxing date,” he recounted. They had been in a relationship for several years already. He had something else for her, and Laura was completely oblivious to it.

A Secret Plan

A Secret Plan

Back To Their Roots

Laura was touched when she learned that they were headed for their old preschool. It was a thoughtful thing to do. This was the ultimate throwback if there was ever one! Mad props to Matt.

Back To Their Roots

Back To Their Roots

Matt’s Strange Behavior

When they were on the way to the preschool, he was acting rather fidgety. Laura assumed that he was just feeling excited and nervous about this secret date. However, her emotions also started to run high!

Matts Strange Behavior

Matts Strange Behavior

The Big Move

She began to realize that this was no ordinary picnic. It was then that he dropped down on his knee and took her hand. He held out a ring and asked, “Will you marry me?” She was shocked but said, “YES!” Laura narrated, “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, is this happening?’ I saw the ring and was like, ‘This is gorgeous. I’m so happy with it.’ I had no idea!”

The Big Move

The Big Move

Worrying

Matt knew that it was going to be very important, but he was worried that he might lose the ring. He said, “I kept checking my pocket when she wasn’t looking to make sure the ring was still there.”

Worrying

Worrying

Long Planning

The special moment happened on the 23rd of May 2015. In reality, Matt had been planning this proposal for several months prior to that moment. He even asked her father for his blessing as well!

Long Planning

Long Planning

Going All Out

He went out to buy the ring and even asked his brother to hide in the bushes and record the special moment with a video camera. As you can see, he wanted this moment to be recorded.

Going All Out

Going All Out

The Picnic Basket

He then borrowed the picnic basket from his folks. It was no regular basket either. This was the same picnic basket that his dad used when he proposed to Matt’s mother. That made it even more special!

The Picnic Basket

The Picnic Basket

A Special Place

The two of them stood in the exact spot where Matt exclaimed his love for her in front of the other kids. “I proposed to her at the place it all began… our preschool classroom,” Matt explained to the Huffington Post. “When you like someone, you just kind of stand up and say it.”

A Special Place

A Special Place

Tying The Knot

The two of them tied the knot on the 30th of December 2016. We adore the fact that they had their first dance to “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.” They definitely wanted a throwback to the early days!

Tying The Knot

Tying The Knot

True Soulmates

Their loved ones watched them dance together at the Arizona Historical Society. His uncle described their love this way: “For most kids in preschool, it’s about finding your snacks and your sleeping mats, but for them it was about finding their soulmates.”

True Soulmates

True Soulmates

For Social Media

Like other millennial couples out there, they shared their big day with the internet. They took to Instagram and Facebook to share their photos with their friends and family. However, it reached even further than they expected!

For Social Media

Laura’s Dad Speaks Out

During the wedding ceremony, her father took the time to talk about the story of her adoption. They took Laura home from an orphanage in India. He also talked about his relationship with her mother!

Lauras Dad Speaks Out

Lauras Dad Speaks Out

Their Own Long Distance Relationship

Her father had been doing a tour in India and spent around a year in the country. At the time, he was already in a relationship with Laura’s future mom. She eventually found work at the American embassy in the country and finally got to be together.

Their Own Long Distance Relationship

Their Own Long Distance Relationship

Visiting The Orphanage

They eventually got married. Her mother then told her husband that there was an orphanage full of children who did not have a place to call home. They went there and looked at the orphaned babies.

Visiting The Orphanage

Visiting The Orphanage

Adopting Laura

There were hundreds of kids in various rooms in the orphanage, but they went to the room full of babies. When they saw Laura, they saw that there were drips in her arms and tubes in her nose. She had been suffering from double-pneumonia!

Adopting Laura

Adopting Laura

Not Leaving Without Her

They were determined to adopt her, but there was a policy that decided which baby would be adopted by whom. However, they were not going to let anyone tell them this baby was not meant for them!

Not Leaving Without Her

Not Leaving Without Her

A Different Place

He decided that it was time to use a new strategy. It was risky, but he knew that it might be their only shot. As a U.S. embassy employee, he managed to ‘bribe’ the agency officials with American products.

A Different Place

A Different Place

Back To Now

These events brought the two young lovers to one another. At the wedding, Matt’s uncle made this raw insight about the nature of love: “Love is not one moment, not even this moment – it’s every moment.”

Back To Now

Back To Now

Dancing For Love

Their love story was incredible, but they wanted to share it with everyone. “Our favorite part of the wedding was the dancing and having everyone we love there to celebrate with us,” they said, “We tore it up on the dance floor and it was great being surrounded by everyone who played a part in bringing us together.”

Dancing For Love

Dancing For Love

Honeymoon Time

After the dream wedding, they flew to Maui to enjoy their honeymoon together. We think it is fitting that they kicked off they spent their wedding bliss in paradise. There was more to the story, however.

Honeymoon Time

Honeymoon Time

The Way We Met

She wanted to share the story with everyone in the world and did exactly that. She took an old and new photo of them and shared these with “The Way We Met”, an Instagram account that shares touching stories of lovebirds.

The Way We Met

The Way We Met

A Big Hit

As you can imagine, their unique love story received a lot of attention. They did not expect it to go viral, however. Matt said, “I was enamored with Laura as a child, and I still am to this day.”

A Big Hit

A Big Hit

Inspiring Others

The story did not only reach “a few people”. It became a hit all over the globe! It was already impressive that the post initially received 30,000 likes and nearly 1,000 comments. Soon enough, the post had 400,000 different engagements! Various media outlets also reached out to them to hear their story.

Inspiring Others

Inspiring Others

Social Media’s Feelings

Their story sounded like something out of a film. However, it turns out that there were people with similar stories! On top of that, there were also people who lost touch with their childhood sweethearts.

Social Media’s Feelings

More Than They Thought

However, the influence did not only touch the hearts of people who loved nostalgia. Other interracial couples saw the story and talked about the way they felt about it. Many were inspired by their story!

More Than They Thought

Tyrese Gibson

Can you believe that it got so big that even the Fast and the Furious actor Tyrese Gibson heard about the story? He was touched by the incredible romance and decided to do something about it.

Tyrese Gibson

Treating The Couple

He said that he was a huge sucker for romance, and this might be one of the greatest love stories he ever heard. He got in touch with the couple to extend his congratulations. He also offered them a 3-day Florida vacation! Laura and Matt plan to take him up on this.

Treating The Couple

The Grodskys’ Future

The two of them finally live in the same town and the same roof in their home state of Arizona. It has been two years since they tied the knot. Matt is an account executive at a digital marketing agency, while Laura works with a non-profit that helps kids in need of foster care. They recently bought a house!

The Grodskys Future

The Grodskys Future

Becoming Parents

It did not take them long to decide that they wanted to be parents as well. Kind of. The lovebirds adopted a lovely puppy and called him Kirby. Do they plan on having kids of their own in the future?

Becoming Parents

Becoming Parents

Real Parents

People wanted to hear the answer to this. Here was what the couple answered: “We would love to have kids at some point. Right now we are focused on our new puppy Kirby and our new house.”

Real Parents

Real Parents

What A Journey

The two of them had an incredible story together. They fell in love when they were young, spent 8 years apart, and found each other once more. “The best thing about our relationship is we are just silly and we appreciate each other every day,” they explained. “Having gone through a long distance relationship, you learn really quick how much the other person means to you and we value our time.”

What A Journey

What A Journey

The Best In Each-Other

They have known each other their entire lives. It must be hard to pick their favorite thing about each other. “My favorite thing about Matt is his humor, he always makes me happy and he is the most driven person I know,” Laura said, “He is always moving forward.” On the other hand, Matt said, “My favorite thing about Laura is her infectious smile and her desire to help those who are less fortunate. She is a force for good and it’s inspiring to be around her every day.”

The Best In Each Other

The Best In Each Other

The Moment They’d Been Waiting For

To this day, there are moments when they look back in wonder. It seemed like they always had a special place in each other’s lives! It was special to finally tie the knot, but there was more…

The Moment They’d Been Waiting For

A Wedding To Look Back On

There are moments of tensions in traditional weddings. For one thing, some girls end up fighting over the bouquet that the bride throws behind her. It was a good thing that everyone was happy during the wedding!

A Wedding To Look Back On

Celebrating Their Love

For Matt and Laura, every single day is a celebration. It was not only the fact that they got married or now live together. It is more than that. Their souls finally found their way to each other. True love exists!

Celebrating Their Love

One Small Step

It is only the beginning for these lovers. Even though they kicked off their married life with a bang, we are sure that there are still many things fate has in store for them. We wish them the very best!

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