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Wife Vanishes After Doctors Appointment, 42 Years Later Cops Use Old Work ID To Find Her Alive

This may seem to some as somewhat of a horror story. A man drops his beloved wife off at her own doctor’s appointment. When he returns to pick her up a while later, she is nowhere to be found. This was the case for over 42 years, the woman never reappeared. Up until now, the husband and the police had a cold case that consisted of one photograph of the woman and one word. It would be a police officer who would change everything and crack this case as wide open as one could, shedding light on a disappearance that broke hearts and changed everything for a man who did not see his entire life be turned upside down when his wife did not come back into his car after her doctor’s appointment. The technology that the police have today has been able to bring a lot of closure to cases and people from long ago. Now that forensic science is as advanced as it is, cold cases are being reopened and re-examined to see if there is anything else that can be done to bring justice to the victims of these unfortunate circumstances. 

This is the story and cold case of a woman named Florence “Flora” Stevens. She was 36 years old when on August 3rd, 1975 she disappeared. She worked in the Catskill Mountains of New York and was said to be a woman of energy and zest, loved by all. The week she went to the doctor she started to get a bad cold. Her husband decided it would be a good idea for her to see a doctor, a doctor who was located in nearby Monticello, New York. 

Flora was never found after her husband filed a missing persons report and the police got involved at the time. They looked for Flora everywhere, leaving no stone unturned. However, no one ever found anything that would lead them to Flora. The case went cold after a while. 25 years later, though, Flora’s case would be reopened and the results of the search would lead to some huge revelations. Cold cases are not always left cold, perhaps this was going to be solved after all. 

It takes one dedicated member of law enforcement to make any sort of change. This is exactly what happened back in 2017 when Senior Investigator Yan Salomon of the New York State Police found something he could not ignore. He found skeletal remains that belonged to a woman. Now that they had the body, they needed to identify it. What Yan did next had him running to grab his phone. 

Yan grabbed his phone and called up the Sullivan County’s Sheriff’s Office. Yan asked to speak with a detective as he was going to need some backup doing the literal digging into who this victim could be. The remains were found right by the Catskill Mountains and were that of a woman. While this was a huge find, the reality is that almost 70,000 women over 18 years of age go missing every year in the US. This was going to hard for them, until they realized what they could do… 

At the time that Yan and his team were searching for their possible victim, there were 21,894 open missing persons cases involving women in the United States. The colder cases are not included in that and are placed in storage, despite being unsolved. Yan and his team were planning on going through every single one to see if any female matched the body they had found. There was one case that fit the bill. 

The first order of business for Yan was to go to Sullivan County and start his tedious research. He knew that going to the local area would make his search easier as people are more inclined to help that way as well. He knew that the woman would have been from that area and so he went on to search one case by case from that area to see if any answers would be uncovered. 

When Yan went to Sullivan County, he found an open case from 1975 that roughly matched the details of the woman he had uncovered in the area. Yan asked the investigators to get the file and go on his own research hunt to see what he could find, including living relatives of the victims. Much of the information that was given was not linking, but there was one thing that did indeed click. 

Upon doing his research, Yan met up with Detective Rich Morgan of the Sullivan County Police Department. He and Rich worked together to try and piece the remains that were found with the case that Yan was following. What they did find was that one of the files had a work ID card of the woman in it, and it stated that she had worked in the Catskill Mountains. The ID stated: Flora Stevens. 

Both Yan and Detective Rich Morgan were connecting the dots faster than they thought they would. However, there was more to this than meets the eye. The woman that was found at the foot of the Catskills and the one from the case stating she was Flora Stevens were connected somehow for certain, but there was more investigating to be done. Flora’s husband passed away a decade after she disappeared, along with her case. 

Detective Rich Morgan was doing his very best to find a real connection to the woman’s remains and the cold case he had connected. There was nothing linking the two in terms of evidence as there were no living relatives to be found anywhere. The one thing that changed everything was when Morgan searched the social security database to find that someone was using Flora Stevens’ social security number in the state of Massachusetts. 

Morgan tracked down this Flora’s social security number to an assisted living facility on the north end of Boston. He was under the suspicion that someone was using this missing woman’s social security information. He called the place up and was confirmed with the fact that there is a Flora there and has been since 2001 but that her name was Flora Harris not Flora Stevens. This was getting far more complex than first thought. 

This case being so interesting and hot all of a sudden, made the detective go to Boston to see this Flora and get to the bottom of this. He said, “Same first name, different last name, but same birth date and social security.” Something here was not right and he was going to find out, he thought that this woman had perhaps stolen the original Flora’s identity. There was more to this yet.  

Detective Morgan traveled to see this Flora with the photo of the ID that the “other” Flora carried. He thought it was a long shot but as soon as they said hello and showed her the photo she shook them. She took the photo and said: “that’s me.” The detective was floored and then showed her the photo of her husband, to which she remarked: “Robert.” Detective Morgan had truly found Flora Stevens, he had found the missing woman. 

Unfortunately, other than knowing that this was indeed Flora, the detective got nothing else from her as she suffers from dementia. Her caregiver, Mbuva, did say that over the years she was able to hear about Flora’s life and recalls being told that Flora came from Yonkers and was in a bad marriage where she was abused. The police officially closed the case and released a statement to that effect. The 42-year missing person case has officially been put away. 


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