It all started with a trip to see the doctor in August of 1975 in upstate New York. Flora Stevens had been dropped off by her husband for a medical appointment—and when he came back, she was gone. He never saw her again.
Decades later, police have finally solved the 42-year-old cold case, but some details remain a mystery.
Stevens had been a 36-year-old employee of a resort in the Catskills before she disappeared, according to CBS News. Her husband had dropped her off at a hospital in Monticello, 75 miles away from New York City.
Because investigators continued to run into dead ends, the search for Stevens came to an end.
Decades later, the missing persons case was reopened.
In September, when skeletal remains were found near where Stevens vanished, detectives thought it might be her, and they reopened the case. But instead of confirming her death, Detective Rich Morgan found out that someone was using her Social Security number in Massachusetts.
The Lowell assisted-living residence was located, where staff confirmed the number belonged to a resident named Flora Harris, who has lived there since 2001.
Detective Morgan and another detective went there on October 24 and confirmed Harris was actually the Flora Stevens who had disappeared in 1975. The woman apparently had been using a different last name.
Police said that because of her dementia, she couldn’t provide details of her life since her disappearance. But the detectives brought along Stevens’ employee photo identification card from the now-defunct Concord Resort, and she recognized herself. They noted that she had suffered from psychiatric problems in the past.
“It’s not too often we get to solve a 42-year-old missing person case. The main thing is we know Flora is safe.” Sheriff Mike Schiff said in a press release.