Saturday 25 January 2020

Mother declared 'dead' returns after 11 years

Brenda Heist
Brenda Heist

A US woman has re-emerged 11 years after walking away from her two children, her job and her life in Pennsylvania to hitchhike with strangers to Florida.

Police say Brenda Heist disclosed her identity when she was questioned in South Florida, saying she slept under bridges and scavenged food from restaurant rubbish bins to survive.

Her children were eight and 12 at the time she vanished. Now one's a college graduate and the other is a student at West Chester University.

Ms Heist had been going through a divorce when she disappeared in 2002. After hearing she'd been turned down for housing assistance, she decided to take off, never contacting anyone.

In the years since she left, Heist's husband remarried, and a court declared her legally dead.

Irish Independent

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