Pittsburgh, PA

Pennsylvania woman, 83 vanished in 1992 thought to be dead now found living in Puerto Rico nursing home

Akhil A Pillai

An 83-year-old Pennsylvania woman who had been missing for over 30 years was found alive and happily living in a nursing home in Puerto Rico. Patricia Kopta was last seen in Pittsburgh in the summer of 1992, and her husband reported her missing case a few months later in the fall. He told authorities that it was not uncommon for his wife to disappear for short periods of time.

According to Ross Township Deputy Chief Brian Kohlhepp, police were first informed about the missing woman's discovery when an INTERPOL agent and a social worker who is from Puerto Rico contacted them last year. They believed that Patricia was living in an adult care home in Puerto Rico, where she had been found wandering the streets in 1999. She had refused to discuss her private life or where she came from.

Patricia was a well-known street preacher when she lived in Pittsburgh, approaching strangers and telling them about visions of the Virgin Mary and the end of the world. Due to her history of mental health issues, the police did not consider her disappearance suspicious.

After a nine-month-long process, police were able to determine that the woman in the nursing home was, in fact, Patricia through DNA testing. Patricia's sister and nephew provided DNA samples for comparison. The family had thought that she was dead all those years.

The family was shocked to learn that Patricia was alive but could not hold a conversation with her due to her dementia. Patricia's sister expressed her happiness that her sister was alive and hoped to see her soon.

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I have done Masters in History. I write interesting historical and real life stories.


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