In 1975, a woman was dropped off to a doctor’s appointment in upstate New York and she vanished.
Police have now found her-- 42 years later --suffering from dementia and living in an assisted-living facility in Massachusetts, according to the Associated Press.
The sheriff’s office in Sullivan County, New York, said Flora Stevens, 78, was using the last name Harris when detectives tracked her down in Boston.
Officials said they’ve been unable to figure out details of what happened to her between the time she disappeared in August 1975 and when she was finally found.
Stevens was a 36-year-old employee of a Catskills resort when her husband dropped her off for a doctor’s appointment at a hospital in Monticello, 75 miles northwest of New York City. When he returned to pick her up, she wasn’t there.
Over time the police would review Steven’s missing person case but kept hitting dead ends. In September they got a break, a New York State Police investigator was working on a different cold case and believed the unidentified remains of a woman found in the neighboring Orange County roughly matched Stevens’ general characteristics.
The state police investigators asked for help tracking down any relatives who could provide a DNA sample for possible identification.
During a records search, Detective Rich Morgan discovered someone was using Stevens’ Social Security number in Massachusetts.
Deputies tracked the social security number to an assisted-living residence, where staff confirmed the number belonged to a resident named Flora Harris, who has lived there since 2001. It was confirmed that Harris was Flora Stevens, who had disappeared in 1975.
“It’s not too often we get to solve a 42-year-old missing-person case,” Sheriff Mike Schiff said in a press release. “The main thing is we know Flora is safe.
Stevens’ husband died in 1985, and she apparently has no living relatives, officials said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.