LOWELL (CBS) – A worn photo was the last image detectives had of Flora Stevens. Forty-two years ago, her husband dropped her off for a doctor’s appointment in Monticello, NY in the Catskills and she vanished – until now.
“Technology has changed so much and you research so much, so fast,” said Detective Rich Morgan of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives thought they found Flora’s remains in New York, but they tracked her social security number to an assisted living facility in Lowell.
“Same first name, different last name, but same birth date and social security,” said Morgan.
New York detectives traveled to Lowell this week and met Flora Harris who is also Flora Stevens who disappeared decades ago.
Detectives showed her that old photo from when she was 36-years-old. “She says that’s me, or me, she responded with one word, me,” said Morgan.
Flora, who is now 78-years-old has dementia, and could not share her story.
“We really don’t know the circumstances of why or how she disappeared. She had psychiatric problems leading up to that point,” said Morgan.
Detectives say she has been in and out of psychiatric facilities in New Hampshire and New York City.
Since 2001. She has lived at the facility in Lowell.
Investigators could find no living relatives. However, they are comforted knowing a cold case is closed.
“We were just glad she was alive and well,” said Morgan.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Art Cohen reports