A Woman Thought to Be Dead for 31 Years Has Mysteriously Been Found Alive
In June 1992, Patricia Kopta disappeared, leaving her family in anguish. For years, they searched tirelessly, and eventually, she was presumed dead. However, this year, the story took an unexpected turn. At the age of 83, Patricia was found, far away from home. Here’s the incredible tale of this woman’s journey.
A mind-blowing discovery
After vanishing from her hometown of Pittsburgh more than 3 decades ago, Kopta who suffers from dementia, was found in a nursing home in Puerto Rico where she’s been since 1999.
They were able to track her down thanks to a social worker who was worried about her well-being. And it took almost a year for the DNA sample to confirm her identity and prove that she was indeed Patricia.
Patricia had been struggling with mental health.
When she disappeared, Patricia left behind her younger sister Gloria and her husband Robert whom she married in 1972.
Robert who is 86 now, had explained that his wife suffered from mental health issue and that over the years her behavior got more inconsistent. He explained, ’’Something must have happened. Somebody got to her because she started on this whole ’the world is going to end’ thing.’’
The husband further added that Patricia would wander around telling strangers ’’to go home because the world was going to end in three days.’’
The young woman was known for her beauty.
People on the street nicknamed Patricia ’’The Sparrow’’ because of her tiny frame. Kopta used to work at a glass company for 10 years, but had to quit because of migraines which doctors said were due to stress. She then started a job as an elevator operator.
With her dark hair and green eyes people thought the then young woman ’’looked like an airline stewardess from the early 1960s.’’ Her sister recalls, ’’She just loved the ocean, the beach, the warm sunshine,’’ and said that young Patricia would often vacation in Puerto Rico before meeting her husband Robert.
This wasn’t her first disappearance.
Things took a turn to the worse in the early 90s when Patricia was robbed and they stole her engagement ring. She later had a few encounters with the police and was even arrested.
Robert explained that his wife had a habit of disappearing for short periods of time. He noted, ’’I come home one night and she’s just gone, and nobody knows where she’s at.’’
But after nearly 6 months of her not coming back home, he filed a missing person’s report and alerted the police about her disappearance.
Her husband tried to find her in Puerto Rico.
In Puerto Rico, she wandered through the northern towns of the island — Naranjito, Corozal, and Toa Alta, located southwest of the capital, San Juan. According to Colhoun, when she was first taken to the adult home, she hinted that she arrived in Puerto Rico on a cruise liner from Europe. It was only last year that Kopta revealed enough information, and a social worker from the nursing home contacted authorities in Pennsylvania to ascertain her identity.
Robert Kopta said his family suspected she might be in Puerto Rico. For years, he placed an advertisement in a Puerto Rican newspaper in an attempt to find her and even consulted a psychic about her whereabouts.
Her sister can’t wait to hug her.
Robert did not remarry, however he doesn’t have any plans on seeing Patricia and admits that he now wants to forget the past, even though he says that her being found is a ’’relief off my mind.’’
Patricia’s sister Gloria, however, wants to travel to Puerto Rico to see her sister, given that she can’t have a phone conversation with her due to her dementia. Gloria noted, ’’Whether she knows me or not, I still want to see her and give her a hug and tell her I love her.’’
Kopta had a twin sister who passed away without knowing that her sister was still alive.
Indeed, this story is worthy of a Hollywood adaptation because real life often writes the most compelling scripts. Take the extraordinary life of this father, born without limbs — it’s a source of inspiration for a remarkable drama film.