Missing Hudson Valley Woman Found 42 Years Later
A Hudson Valley woman was found 42-years after she went missing.
On September 15, the Detective Division of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by New York State Police regarding the recovery of skeletal remains in Orange County.
The remains roughly fit the profile of a woman that was reported missing from Sullivan County in 1975.
The missing person, Florence Stevens, was 36-years-old when she went missing. On the day she went missing, August 3, 1975, she was dropped off by her husband for a doctor’s appointment at Community General Hospital in Monticello. She was gone, never to be heard from again, when her husband returned to pick her up.
The missing person case went through periodic reviews over the years with no leads being developed, police say.
After learning about the remains found in Orange County, Sullivan County Sheriff detective Rich Morgan worked with the New York State Intelligence Center as well as other Federal, State and Local agencies to access different databases in an attempt to locate possible relatives.
In the process, he learned that someone was using Stevens’ social security number in the state of Massachusetts. Detectives tracked down the social security number to an assisted living residence in Lowell.
Staff at the facility confirmed that the social security number belonged to Flora Harris who had been at the facility since 2001, officials say.
On Tuesday, detectives Rich Morgan and Ed Clouse traveled to Lowell, M.A., to meet with Harris.
During the interview the detectives were able to confirm that Flora Harris and the missing Flora Stevens were the same person, police say.
Harris, who is now 78, suffers from dementia. Her medical records go back about 30 years but are sketchy after that, officials say.
She previously spent time in a nursing home in New Hampshire, and St. Lukes - Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.
Flora was able to recognize her Concord Hotel employee photograph that the detectives found her case file. (Pictured below)
Because of her illness, it is still a mystery how and why she disappeared from Monticello in 1975 and where she went, police say.
“It is not too often that you get to solve a 42 year old missing person case,” Sheriff Mike Schiff said. “Although the case is now officially closed, a lot of questions remain. “The main thing is that we know that Flora is safe.”
To date, authorities haven't been able to find any living relatives.
- Hudson Valley Man Charged With Murder
- $350 Million Theme Park Coming to the Hudson Valley
- Hudson Valley Man Placed Explosive Device On Ex’s Car, Police
- Dutchess County Man in Serious Condition Following Motorcycle Crash
- Hudson Valley Teens Rescued From Alleged Sex Traffickers
- Man Charged With Illegally Killing Deer in Hudson Valley
Here are this week's Top 5 news stories from the Hudson Valley