A Pennsylvania mom missing 11 years, has been jailed in Florida. Brenda Heist, age 53, recently emerged from hiding after her disappearance in 2002. Her husband and daughters thought she was dead.
Heist was arrested, and is currently being held in the Santa Rosa County jail without bond. She is accused of violating a probation agreement. Heist turned herself into Florida authorities late last month, claiming that she had been reported missing in 2002.
Authorities were shocked to discover that the woman was indeed Brenda Heist. In 2002, Heist took her daughter and son to school and disappeared. Her vehicle and personal belongings were left behind, leading to suspicion that she was abducted.
As reported by CBS News, Lee Heist was suspected of involvement in his wife’s disappearance. Although he was cleared by a polygraph, members of the Pennsylvania community doubted his innocence.
Brenda Heist was declared dead two years ago. Her former husband and children were understandably shocked and confused when they learned she was alive. Even more upsetting was the fact that she left voluntarily. Heist explained to authorities that she traveled to Florida with a group of hitchhikers she met in the park.
As reported by Fox News, Brenda’s daughter Morgan was devastated. Morgan contends that her mother’s disappearance impacted her life deeply:
“I ached every birthday, every Christmas … my heart just ached. I wasn’t mad at her. I wanted her to be there … I thought something had happened to her. I wish I had never cried.”
Heist told authorities that she spent a majority of the last 11 years homeless and living in poverty. Lititz, Pennsylvania Police Detective, John Schofield, reports that he has received calls from Florida residents, contradicting her story.
Lee Heist was initially angry with Brenda. His children suffered terribly as their mom was missing 11 years. However, he has stated that he hopes she will overcome her problems and “go on with her life.”
Brenda’s arrest was reportedly related to a previous conviction for providing officers with false identification. She is now incarcerated and will face charges of violating her probation.
Brenda’s children continue to cope with fact that their mom missed 11 years of their life.