USA: Missing person resurfaces after 31 years in nursing home

Missing woman resurfaces after 31 years – in nursing home in Puerto Rico

With this photo, the family was looking for Patricia Kopta, who disappeared in 1992

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Patricia Kopta disappeared from the US state of Pennsylvania in 1992 and was pronounced dead in 1999. It is now clear that she is still alive. Her family can probably no longer explain her fate completely.

Patricia Kopta’s family had to endure 31 years of uncertainty before their fate could be clarified. In 1992, the then 52-year-old disappeared from the US state of Pennsylvania. The police search did not bring any results – especially since Kopta suffered from mental problems and had already indicated to family members that he wanted to disappear.

Now it is clear that she is still alive – in a nursing home in Puerto Rico. In 1999 she was picked up on the street in need of help and placed in the nursing home. She suffers from dementia and has long avoided talking to the caregivers about private matters, reports the “New York Times”. But as her illness progressed, she revealed more about herself, until the nursing home staff pieced together the fact that she was the missing person since 1992. The nursing home contacted the Pennsylvania police last summer. Another nine months passed before a DNA test brought certainty, as did the police at a press conference reported.

Patricia Kopta has probably been in Puerto Rico since 1992

Kopta himself allegedly claimed to have come to Puerto Rico from Europe on a cruise ship. However, the police found no evidence that Kopta was actually in Europe. What she did between her disappearance and her arrival at the nursing home will probably remain her secret forever – if she can even remember those years. “31 years,” Kopta’s husband Bob said at the press conference, according to the New York Times. “And it was bad.” He’s been through a lot, Bob Kopta also told the AP news agency. “Every time they found a body somewhere, I would ask myself, ‘Is it Patricia? Is it Patricia?'” In 1999, she was pronounced dead. He doesn’t want to visit his wife. He wants to forget the past, but is glad that people are taking care of it.

Patricia Kopta’s younger sister, who is still alive, plans to travel to Puerto Rico, according to the AP. She cannot telephone Patricia because she can no longer hold a conversation because of her dementia. “Whether she recognizes me or not, I still want to see her, hug her and tell her I love her,” Smith told AP. “I thought maybe she was already dead.”

Sources:“New York Times”, Police press conference on “Youtube”, Associated Press (AP).

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