Woman missing more than 30 years found living in Puerto Rico nursing home


A Pennsylvania female who disappeared additional than 30 several years back and was thought to be lifeless by her household was lately identified living in a nursing residence in Puerto Rico, her relatives and law enforcement claimed at a news meeting Thursday.

Patricia Kopta, 83, was last seen in Pittsburgh in the summer time of 1992, in accordance to a missing person flier posted by the Pennsylvania Unexpected emergency Response Heart.

Her spouse, Bob Kopta, described her missing a few months afterwards in the tumble. At the time, he advised authorities that it wasn’t unusual for his wife to “drop out of sight for quick intervals,” according to the flier.

“I appear residence just one night and she’s absent, and no one knew in which she was at,” Kopta explained at the news convention with Ross Township Law enforcement.

Police said they were being very first informed about the discovery of the missing lady when an agent from the Global Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and a social employee from Puerto Rico contacted them final year stating that they considered Patricia was residing in an grownup treatment residence in Puerto Rico.

“What they noted to us was that she arrived into their care in 1999, when she was uncovered in will need in the streets of Puerto Rico,” Ross Township Deputy Main Brian Kohlhepp mentioned.

INTERPOL and the social worker said Patricia was identified wandering the streets and as a result of the many years she experienced “refused to at any time talk about her private lifetime or the place she came from,” Kohlhepp said.

In her state-of-the-art age, Patricia started out revealing nuggets that would at some point spur those close to her to call Ross law enforcement, Kohlhepp mentioned.

When she was in Pittsburgh, Patricia was a “well-known road preacher,” in accordance to the missing individual flier. She would tactic strangers, telling them she experienced visions of the Virgin Mary and that the earth was coming to an end, the flier claimed.

Police claimed her disappearance wasn’t overtly suspicious due to the fact they “knew she had a mental overall health background and she had made statements to other relatives men and women that she was leaving, that she was anxious that she was going to be positioned into a care facility in this article,” Kohlhepp reported. Kohlhepp stated police understood she had probable remaining of her have volition.

Her partner mentioned that his spouse experienced talked about seeking to go to Puerto Rico to are living in a tropical natural environment.

“I even marketed in the paper down in Puerto Rico hunting for her,” Kopta said at the information meeting, incorporating that he expended a large amount of money in excess of the several years exploring for her.

Patricia and Bob had been married for 20 several years just before she went lacking, Kohlhepp told CNN. He extra that Patricia experienced no identified relatives or connections in Puerto Rico.

Police determined the female was in reality Patricia via a 9-thirty day period-lengthy method in which they in contrast DNA samples provided by her sister, Gloria Smith, and her nephew.

“We truly thought she was dead all these decades,” Smith claimed at the news convention.

Even right before DNA screening was finished, the family members realized it was Patricia as shortly as they saw her image, Kohlhepp mentioned.

Smith mentioned that she has termed the adult care dwelling in Puerto Rico numerous occasions but has been unable to hold a discussion with her sister simply because she has dementia.

“We didn’t hope it. It was a really massive shock to see – to know that she’s still alive,” her sister explained. “You know, we’re so pleased and I hope I can get down to see her.”

CNN has not been ready to right get in touch with the woman’s spouse and children.