Go Back  

Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida 

Current Rating:

Join NowJoin Now
 
  #1  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:14 PM
Megamel29's Avatar
Megamel29
Offline:
My Rank: FIRST SERGEANT
Poster Rank:283
Female
Join Date: Dec 2009
Contributions: 6
 
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Quoted: 691 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
0/20 14/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss2913
Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-...nd-in-florida/

A central Pennsylvania woman who mysteriously disappeared after dropping off her children for school 11 years ago has surfaced in Florida, telling police she traveled there on a whim with homeless hitchhikers, slept under bridges and survived by scavenging food and panhandling, authorities said Wednesday.

Brenda Heist, 53, had been declared legally dead, Lititz Borough Police Det. John Schofield said. The detective said he met with her in Florida on Monday and she expressed shame and apologized for what she did to her family.

Heist was going through an amicable divorce in 2002 when she was turned down for housing assistance, which led her to despair. She was crying in a park when two women and a man befriended her, then invited her to join them as they began a month-long hitchhiking journey to south Florida, Schofield said.

Her ex-husband Lee Heist, who got the courts to declare her legally dead two years ago and has remarried, said at a news conference Wednesday that he was angry because of the effect her disappearance had on their son and daughter. Lee Heist was looked at as a suspect, but cooperated with investigators, took a polygraph and was eventually cleared.

He was able to maintain a bond with the children.

"They knew that I was there, and I loved them and would take care of them," he said.

He said his ex-wife and their children have expressed a desire to speak with each other, but for now they are taking things slowly.

Schofield said Brenda Heist was expected to be released from police custody in Florida and was likely to spend some time with a brother in that state before moving in with her mother in Texas.

"She has a birth certificate and a death certificate so she's got a long ways to make this right again," Schofield said. "She's got to take it slow with her family, I'm sure, and it's going to be a long process."

Inside her Lititz home the day she disappeared, dinner was defrosting and the laundry was half done. Police located her car in a neighboring county but none of her personal belongings were taken.

When Schofield called recently to meet with her ex-husband and their daughter, they assumed he would be notifying them that her remains were found, the detective said.

Lee Heist said he struggled financially after his wife disappeared, quitting his job and losing his home. She had been a bookkeeper at a car dealership.

"There were people in the neighborhood who would not allow their children to play with my children" because he had been a suspect, he said.

Brenda Heist turned herself in to Monroe County sheriff's deputies in Key Largo, Fla., on Friday, regarding some outstanding warrants, and then informed them she was a missing person. She had apparently been using a different name and had been homeless for the past two years, most recently living in a tent community run by a social service agency.

"She said she was at the end of her rope, she was tired of running," Schofield said.

For about seven years she lived with a man in a camper in Key West and worked odd jobs. Schofield said she never had access to a computer and never checked to see if she was being sought, although she assumed she was.

The Heists' daughter is now a 19-year-old West Chester University sophomore, and their son, 23, recently graduated from the same college and is pursuing a law-enforcement career. The school is about 30 miles west of Philadelphia.

Schofield said police in Florida were trying to sort out the warrants before releasing Brenda Heist.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said Heist was in "protective custody," although not with the office. The sheriff's office did not immediately respond to a request by The Associated Press for a way to contact her.

Police in Lititz said the investigation eventually involved dozens of detectives, and although the trail had grown cold the case had never been forgotten, with Heist's picture tacked to a wall at police headquarters.

Lee Heist said he and the children also remembered, and observed anniversaries. Her valuables were returned to her mother years ago, he said.

*****************Update***************
http://tinyurl.com/cps7rhb

Daughter voices anger at mom found after 11 years

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The teenage daughter of a woman who just revealed she abandoned her family 11 years ago said Thursday the disclosure has angered her and she is not eager to restart their relationship.
Morgan Heist, who learned last week that Brenda Heist had surfaced in the Florida Keys, said the news has made her recall with bitterness the years of mourning she endured when she assumed her mother was dead and feared she'd been killed.
"I ached every birthday, every Christmas," said 19-year-old Morgan Heist, a freshman at a community college outside Philadelphia. "My heart just ached. I wasn't mad at her. I wanted her to be there because I thought something had happened to her. I wish I had never cried."
Brenda Heist's mother, Jean Copenhaver, said Thursday that her daughter "had a real traumatic time" but was doing OK.
Brenda Heist was released from police custody on Wednesday and is staying with a brother in northern Florida for now, Copenhaver said.
Copenhaver, who lives in Brenham, Texas, said she had spoken with Heist several times since Friday, when the 54-year-old woman turned herself in to police in Florida and was identified as a missing person.
"She just said she thought the family wouldn't want to talk to her because of her leaving," Copenhaver said. "And we all assured her that wasn't the case and we all loved her and wanted to be with her."
Morgan Heist said she's not sympathetic, partly because her mother had a choice, unlike the family she secretly abandoned.
"It's definitely very selfish," Morgan Heist said. "She clearly did not think of me or my brother or my dad at all with that decision. She thought of herself."
Heist told police she made a spur-of-the-moment decision in 2002 to join a group of homeless hitchhikers on their way to Florida, walking out on Morgan, then 8, and her brother, then 12.
Brenda and her husband, Lee, were living together but going through an amicable divorce when she learned she had been denied housing support, police said. She was crying about that in a Lancaster park when three strangers befriended her and offered to let her join them.
Morgan Heist said her parents had agreed to live near each other once they divorced. Brenda Heist had been a bookkeeper at a car dealership.
"It's more of a mystery than ever," her daughter said. "Her life was not hard at all."
Brenda Heist told police she slept under bridges and survived at times by scavenging food from restaurant trash and panhandling. But Lititz Police Detective John Schofield said Thursday he is looking into reports that have come in over the past day suggesting Brenda Heist's time in Florida included much less miserable periods.
"We're getting several calls from people down in Florida that knew her who want to say she's not being truthful with us," Schofield said.
Heist told a detective with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office that she had recently been arrested in the Tampa Bay area and might be in violation of probation. She told the detective she used the name Kelsie Lyanne Smith and provided a date of birth.
Jail and court records show Kelsie Lyanne Smith, with a matching birth date, was arrested in January on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and providing false identification to law enforcement. After pleading guilty, Smith was sentenced to time served and was released on Feb. 13. She was also ordered to pay court costs but failed to do so and was found delinquent on April 15.
Copenhaver said she has not pressed her daughter about what led her to walk away from the life she knew in Pennsylvania and then live underground for more than a decade.
"We haven't gone into that with her," Copenhaver said. "She just needs time to recover, and have some peace and that. She'll tell us when she's ready."
She agreed to pass along a message from The Associated Press, asking Brenda Heist for an interview.
Heist told police she contacted them after feeling like she was at the end of her rope and tired of running.
"She's doing OK," Copenhaver said. "She's got a long way to go. She had a real traumatic time, but she's doing OK."
She said Heist was born in South Carolina, then moved as her father was transferred by the Air Force to Italy and Missouri before ending up in San Antonio, where she graduated from high school.
When she vanished, Lee Heist was investigated but was cleared as a suspect. He raised the children without Brenda and got the courts to declare her legally dead. He has since remarried.
Police erroneously said Wednesday that Morgan Heist was a sophomore at West Chester University. She is a freshman at Montgomery County Community College.
___

Your Source For Death Pictures and Death Video
brendaafter.jpg  

Attached Images
 
 
Reply With Quote
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Megamel29 For This Useful Post:
Darkest Angel, diamondsmiles, gatagato, Impotent Rage, JONESJIM, K9Grip, Kanda444, kellyhound, Pyramid_Head
  #2  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:31 PM
Impotent Rage's Avatar
Impotent Rage
Offline:
My Rank: CORPORAL
Poster Rank:916
Join Date: Nov 2012
Contributions: 5
 
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
1/20 8/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssss490
Re: Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida

OMG that's some crazy shit there!

Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Impotent Rage For This Useful Post:
diamondsmiles, K9Grip, kellyhound
  #3  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:33 PM
Kanda444's Avatar
Kanda444
Offline:
You holdin....?
Poster Rank:11
Join Date: May 2010
Contributions: 23
 
Mentioned: 228 Post(s)
Quoted: 20147 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
15/20 13/20
Today Posts
4/11 ssss49399
Re: Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida

whoa... what the fuck....what a shitty thing to do to your family!

Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kanda444 For This Useful Post:
diamondsmiles, K9Grip, kellyhound
  #4  
Old 05-01-2013, 07:03 PM
Megamel29's Avatar
Megamel29
Offline:
My Rank: FIRST SERGEANT
Poster Rank:283
Female
Join Date: Dec 2009
Contributions: 6
 
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Quoted: 691 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
0/20 14/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss2913
Re: Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida

Isn't it crazy how she aged? Is it just stress and low income or is meth or something involved?

Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Megamel29 For This Useful Post:
diamondsmiles, gatagato, K9Grip
  #5  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:33 PM
Pyramid_Head's Avatar
Pyramid_Head
Offline:
My Rank: MAJOR
Poster Rank:80
Male
Join Date: Aug 2009
 
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Quoted: 1095 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
2/20 15/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssss12567
Re: Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida

Very sad situation for the father and kids. I don't think I could ever forgive her if I were either of the kids or the father.

Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Pyramid_Head For This Useful Post:
diamondsmiles, kellyhound, Megamel29
  #6  
Old 05-01-2013, 10:38 PM
Darkest Angel's Avatar
Darkest Angel
Offline:
Born in the USA
Poster Rank:74
100% female
Join Date: Jul 2012
Contributions: 1
 
Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Quoted: 1785 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
2/20 9/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssss12899
Re: Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyramid_Head View Post
Very sad situation for the father and kids. I don't think I could ever forgive her if I were either of the kids or the father.
Agreed 100%

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Darkest Angel For This Useful Post:
diamondsmiles
  #7  
Old 05-02-2013, 08:30 AM
kellyhound's Avatar
kellyhound
Offline:
✝Moderator from Hell✝
Poster Rank:9
e-mail
Join Date: Oct 2006
Contributions: 413
 
Mentioned: 82 Post(s)
Quoted: 1760 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
15/20 20/20
Today Posts
11/11 ssss61220
Re: Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida

Quote:
Brenda Heist was expected to be released from police custody in Florida and was likely to spend some time with a brother in that state before moving in with her mother in Texas.
should have looked for help 11 years ago at her brother and/or mom instead of abandon your kids and go hitchhiking with strangers and becoming a crackhead

__________________
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to kellyhound For This Useful Post:
diamondsmiles, gatagato, juliemd, Megamel29
  #8  
Old 05-03-2013, 02:30 AM
diamondsmiles's Avatar
diamondsmiles
Offline:
★ Server Supporter ★
Poster Rank:37
Female
Join Date: Jun 2011
Contributions: 118
 
Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Quoted: 2758 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
5/20 11/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssss21527
Re: Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megamel29 View Post
Isn't it crazy how she aged? Is it just stress and low income or is meth or something involved?

I'm guessing meth judging from the hollow cheek bones and lovely complexion. I'm guessing her teeth are gone since she's not showing them.

She'd make a great zombie! Too bad she relocated.

There were a few zombie movie filmed in Western and Northern PA in the past few years looking for extras

She wouldn't need makeup

Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to diamondsmiles For This Useful Post:
Brometheus, Megamel29
  #9  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:12 PM
knuggy's Avatar
knuggy
Offline:
My Rank: MASTER SERGEANT
Poster Rank:425
M
Join Date: Feb 2011
Contributions: 1
 
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
3/20 12/20
Today Posts
2/11 sssss1629
Re: Pa. Mom Missing for 11 Years and Declared Dead, Found in Florida

sexy!

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to knuggy For This Useful Post:
diamondsmiles
  #10  
Old 05-03-2013, 10:48 PM
diamondsmiles's Avatar
diamondsmiles
Offline:
★ Server Supporter ★
Poster Rank:37
Female
Join Date: Jun 2011
Contributions: 118
 
Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Quoted: 2758 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
5/20 11/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssss21527
*Family Has No Plans to Reunite*

<embed width="576" height="324" src="http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/designvideo/embeddedPlayer.swf" flashvars="v=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbcphiladelphia.com% 2Fi%2Fembed_new%2F%3Fcid%3D205871441%26path=/news/local" allowFullScreen="true" AllowScriptAccess="always" />

Family of mom who was missing for 11 years has no plans to reunite with her

By Elizabeth Chuck, Staff Writer, NBC News

It's what relatives of so many missing people hold on to: the hope that their loved one will be found alive days, months, even years after disappearing. But for Brenda Heist, the Pennsylvania woman found this week in Florida 11 years after she vanished, the circumstances surrounding her disappearance have tainted the news for her family.

"I'm hurt so much that she got up and left me and my brother," Morgan Heist, Brenda Heist's 19-year-old daughter, told NBCPhiladelphia.com. "It's not that I hate her. It's just that I don't think she deserves to be in my life at this point."

Hesit went missing from her Litiz, PA, home in February 2002. Dinner for her two children — 8 and 12 at the time — was found defrosting in the kitchen on the day she disappeared, and the laundry had been started. Days later, Pennsylvania authorities found her abandoned car.

On Wednesday, Heist, 54, turned herself into a sheriff's deputy in Key Largo, FL, telling him she thought she was wanted in a neighboring county. When authorities ran her name through their database, it came up as "missing and possibly deceased," the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said.

According to Lititz Borough police, Heist was overwhelmed with her life when she decided to abandon her family. She and her husband were going through an amicable divorce at the time, but she had just learned she had been denied housing support, police said.

“She explained to me that she just snapped,” Lititz Borough Police Det. John Schofield, who met with Heist on Monday, told The Associated Press.

Heist's hair, brown when she went missing, is now blond with gray roots. Her face is sunken. According to Lititz Borough police, feeling overcome by the pressures of her life, she went to a park near her central Pennsylvania home on the day she left her home in 2002. There, as she cried, she met a group of homeless hitchhikers who reached out to her, reported The AP.

She joined the hitchhikers, who were Florida-bound, and once arriving there, she slept under bridges and in tents, and ate food thrown out in restaurant dumpsters, according to what she told police.

Heist then moved in with a man in a camper in Key West for about seven years, working odd jobs, Lititz police said. She recently became homeless again, however, and according to Schofield, turned herself in because "she said she was at the end of her rope, she was tired of running."

Her husband, Lee, had briefly been investigated as a suspect in Heist's disappearance, but was cleared.

"I thought for probably about two years based on some of the information that she had been carjacked," he told NBCPhiladelphia.com after learning the woman he had asked courts to declare legally dead several years ago was still alive. "I just wish her that she'll get well, whatever the problems are."

Lee Heist has since remarried.

"I think there's nothing we have to say to each other," Lee told NBCPhiladelphia.com.

Neither he nor his daughter Morgan have plans to reunite with Heist right now.

"I don't want her to tell me she missed me. I don't want her to tell me she loves me. I don't want a sob story," Morgan said.

Heist, who had worked as a car dealership bookkeeper, apologized for what she did to her family.

"She has a birth certificate and a death certificate, so she's got a long ways to make this right again," Schofield said.

Her daughter said an apology doesn't make up for her mom's absence.

"It was tough," Morgan told NBCPhiladelphia.com. "Every prom -- my brother graduated from high school and college, I graduated, [from high school]. She wasn't there, you know? She wasn't there for the most important parts of my life."

It's unclear what's next for Heist, who was put in protective custody but did not require medical treatment when she turned herself in, according to the Monroe County sheriff's office.

"She appeared to be in relatively good health. She said she was tired," Becky Herrin, spokesperson for Monroe County sheriff's office, said.

Her mother, Jean Copenhaver, of Brenham, Texas, told The AP she has spoken with her daughter since she turned herself in.

"She just said she thought the family wouldn't want to talk to her because of her leaving," Copenhaver said. "And we all assured her that wasn't the case and we all loved her and wanted to be with her."

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to diamondsmiles For This Useful Post:
Megamel29

Powered by vBulletin Copyright 2000-2010 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO