a pennsylvania A woman who had been declared legally dead after missing her husband more than 30 years ago has been found alive in Puerto Rico, officials said.
When people mysteriously go missing, it’s not often that the missing person is found alive decades later. But 82-year-old Patricia Copta has proven to be an exception, having been diagnosed with dementia at an adult care home about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) from where she went missing.
“You won’t believe what we went through,” Bob Copta, with whom she was married for 20 years, told a news conference Thursday. I have.”
Patricia Copta lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Ross Township, and commuted to various jobs, including one that operated elevators. post gazette newspaper reported.
She began to exhibit increasingly erratic behavior, and her piety was replaced by irrational rants such as the claim that the Mother of God appeared to Patricia Copta to warn her of the impending nuclear Armageddon. I was replaced.
After losing her job, she frequented the downtown streets, admonishing baseball game-goers and concert-goers to go home because the world was coming to an end, Bob said. Copta recalled, reports the Post-Gazette.
Those who met her nicknamed her “Sparrow”, a nickname inspired by her small build and erratic gait. . She was arrested on another occasion, according to the Post-Gazette, and her doctor described how she had “delusions of grandeur.”
Then, one day in 1992, Bob Copta came home to Los Township, found that Patricia Copta had left, and filed a missing persons report with the local police.
For years there was no sign of her until she sent a letter to her husband detailing how someone was tracking her.
A Post-Gazette columnist later wrote that even people living in downtown Pittsburgh “haven’t seen a sparrow in a long time.” However, columnist Dennis Roddy added, “For the most part, they let it go.”
Desperate to find her, investigators at one point spoke with a psychic who suggested that Patricia Copta was dead and her body was near water.
Bob Copta finally got a legal declaration that his wife was presumed dead.
However, authorities later learned that Patricia Copta was in an adult care facility. Puerto Rico When I needed help in June of 1999.
As time went on, she told the house staff more about her life. Arrangements have been made to contact Brian Kohlhepp.
According to the Post-Gazette, Kohlhep issued a statement Thursday after Patricia Copta wandered the towns of Naranjit, Corozal, and Toa Alta in Puerto Rico, after a social worker and Interpol agent identified her. I became suspicious.
After Kohlhepp notified Patricia Copta’s family, his department sent a kit to Puerto Rican authorities to swab her DNA. The sample was then compared to her DNA provided by Patricia Copta’s older sister and her nephew.
At the end of the nine-month process, which included her dental records, investigators said Patricia Copta had checked into an adult care facility in 1999 after she said she had arrived in Puerto Rico on a cruise ship from Europe. It was confirmed that
“Patricia Copta [is] She is alive and well because of her advanced age and condition,” Kohlhepp said at a press conference Thursday.
Bob Copta never remarried. He and her sister from Copta, Gloria Smith, told reporters on Thursday that they wanted to bring her back. pennsylvania and reunite their families.
Regardless, it remains to be seen if Kopta will return to Pennsylvania. She told staff at her care home that she wanted to stay in Puerto Rico, according to the Post-Gazette.
“We are so grateful to hear that Patty is alive and well,” Smith said, according to local news outlets. WMTW“She is well taken care of. We really thought she was dead the whole time. It was such a big shock to find out she was still alive. We went to see her.” I hope you can go.”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/mar/04/pennsylvania-missing-woman-found-patricia-kopta Missing Pennsylvania woman found 30 years later to live in Puerto Rico