On August 3, 1975, in upstate New York, a man drove his wife to her doctor's appointment and told her that he would return as soon as it was over. When the husband returned, he expected to find his wife waiting for him. Instead, he sat waiting for her, and when she did not show up, he received the shock of his life.
The receptionists at the front desk explained to him that his wife was nowhere in the office. What could have possibly happened to her while he was gone? It would take a long and grueling 42 years for the mystery of where his wife went to be solved. Police would find her in an unexpected place.
Just a Cold
Florence Stevens was a 36-year-old woman full of life. She lived for adventure and excitement. On the day of her doctor’s appointment, all she needed was to get her cold checked out.
But little did Robert Stevens know that he would be going home alone that night. The situation was startling.
The Catskills Resort
Flora was happy at her place of employment. She worked at the lavish and hip resort called The Concord located in the Catskills.
The summer of 1975 was a fun roller coaster of a time and The Concord was the place to be since it held 1,200 rooms and was a huge hit for tourists and locals to unwind.
Education Is Important
During the investigation into Flora's whereabouts, the detectives discovered that she once attended Lincoln High School in New York. The officers on the case learned this bit of information from her application to The Concord.
But how was an old high school name going to help the police locate Flora? With hardly anything to go on, there was one thing the detectives did know, she was married to a man named Robert Stevens.
End of the Line
Back in 1975 people didn't have the internet to help them locate missing family members. In fact, trying to find someone was a whole different ball game with a different set of rules. And for Flora, no one knew if she had any family she might have gone off to visit.
Not even her husband had any ideas of where his wife could have gone. There were no breadcrumbs leading him to her. There was no cellphone to track which made it incredibly difficult to figure out where she may have gone. The whole situation seemed hopeless.
The detectives and Flora's husband, Robert, tried to figure out what happened to Flora. But the days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Each new lead seemed to go nowhere, and it became clear that the detective on the case had to put a pin in solving Flora's disappearance.
With no new leads or trails to follow, it was time to mark the case as unsolved. No one knew where Flora had gone and Robert needed closure. So, he stopped looking for Flora and moved on with his life. Little did he know that it would take nearly half a century for the case of Robert's missing wife to be solved.
After the case went cold, it wouldn't be looked at again until 2017. It was then that Yan Salomon, one of the senior investigators from New York, discovered an interesting fact that would bust the case wide open. As he was going through old files, he uncovered an interesting detail that had been overlooked during the initial search for Flora.
Salomon realized that there was something familiar about Flora's case. As he continued to look over the evidence, he found something that he believed solved the case. He found human remains and jumped to the conclusion that the woman he found was Flora. But before he could wrap up the case, he had to figure out who the remains belonged to.
Putting the Pieces Together
Over the next several days, Salomon had to make some phone calls to determine who the remains belong to. The first call he made was to the Sullivan County Sheriff's office. Yan Salomon's first objective was to speak to the detective there and bring up the case.
During Salomon's conversation with the detective at the Sullivan office, he explained how he found the remains of a woman in the Catskills area. The detective was all too happy to help solve a decade-long case and he decided to help Salomon identify the body.
Playing the Numbers Game
Unfortunately, 70,000 women go missing in the United States each year. This number is relatively high because some women that end up on the list are cold cases.
For Salomon, it was going to be difficult to take on the case of Flora by himself. But with a little luck and a keen eye, he was determined to figure out what happened to Flora, even if that meant determining what killed her.
On the Hunt
Salomon needed to access a database to figure out whose body he had found and if it belonged to Flora. He understood that going through 21,894 files would take too much time so he decided to get a team to help him sort through all the missing cases.
As you can imagine, it took some time to sort through all those open case files. But the team was determined and focused on looking for a connection to the body that Salomon found.
After all the many hours of hard work, Salomon asked his team for one more favor. He asked his team to try to find any living relatives or friends that may be connected to the woman he found.
Unfortunately, even after some time, neither he nor his team found any living relatives that were connected to the woman he found. And so the case of Flora remained unsolved.
Handing Off the Case
With so much time invested in cracking the case, Salomon had no other choice but to hand off Flora's case to Detective Rich Morgan from the Sullivan County Police Department. Salomon couldn't crack the case on his own, not even with the highly skilled team he had.
Detective Rich Morgan took over the extensive case and was charged with connecting Flora's case with the body that Salomon located. Somehow, Detective Morgan knew that there had to be a link and so he dug deeper. It took him some time, but after a while, he finally managed to dig up new information.
The Missing Link
Detective Morgan caught a break when he discovered the woman's identification badge. Now, finally, they had a name to go with the body that Salomon found months prior.
The ID badge proved that the woman worked in the Catskill Mountains just as Flora did. But Detective Morgan discovered that the woman also went missing around the same time that Flora did. With one woman dead and the other missing since 1975, chances were that sooner or later, Flora's body would be found too.
One Dead End After Another
As days turned into weeks and weeks into months with no sign or further clues as to where Flora went, Robert started to lose hope. Sadly, Robert passed away 10 years after reporting that Flora went missing.
With the passing of Robert, things got even more complicated for Detective Morgan. Now, with no further living relatives, Flora's case was getting colder than it ever had been before.
The Clue That Changed Everything
When it came to modern technology, Detective Morgan had all that he needed to solve the case. On a hunch, Detective Morgan scoured the Social Security Database in hopes that he would get a ping on Flora's case. And sure enough, he discovered that Flora's social security number was in use. Someone out there was using Flora's social security number, so Detective Morgan wanted to know if it was a case of an identity thief or something else.
Detective Morgan tracked down the use of the social security number to an assisted living facility that was nearly 250 miles away. In a small town north of Boston, Morgan would finally get some answers.
The Right Person?
The Detective called the home hoping to get to the bottom of the case. He spoke with several of the staff members only to discover that the person using Flora's social security number was, in fact, someone named Flora.
With the name spot on, Morgan got his hopes up. It was then the staff mentioned that Flora's last name wasn't Stevens but Harris. Detective Morgan discovered that Harris had been there since 2001.
Some Kind of Fraud?
For Detective Morgan, Flora's case was getting weirder and weirder. He knew that the chances of Flora being alive were slim, but to have found someone pretending to be her would be worth a trip to the assisted living facility.
That is exactly what Detective Morgan did. He drove down himself to ensure that who he was dealing with was in fact, Flora. After all, the case had been open for so long, that he wanted to see it closed. And coming to see someone with the same first name, and birthday, but a different last name was all too coincidental.
What Was Going On?
In order to be absolutely sure, Detective Morgan took a colleague with him to the assisted living north of Boston. He wasn't taking any chances in cracking this case.
But when they finally got to the place, Detective Morgan and his colleague were shocked to discover a new clue to this already baffling case. They brought with them a photo that only the real Flora Stevens would recognize.
Was It Really Her?
As the Detectives spoke with the old woman at the nursing home, they were amazed by her answers to their questions. But it was what she said after showing the picture that shocked the detectives.
When shown the picture, she clearly pointed herself out exclaiming that it was really her. But what was even more extraordinary was her ability to point out her ex-husband, Robert. It was then that the detectives knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had found Flora Stevens.
And You Are?
Unfortunately, Flora wasn't able to fill in the details as to what happened the day she disappeared. Flora's memory could not recall the facts.
The detectives were thrilled to have solved a case, but although Flora was alive, her memory was so far gone that she couldn't give them any further details.
Abuse or Neglect?
After speaking with FLora, the detectives believe that poor Flora may have experienced psychiatric issues that led her to run away. Apparently, Flora had a really bad marriage and was in an abusive relationship a long time ago.
Many people working on the case believed that Flora took the opportunity and ran from the abusive relationship.
Hidden for a Reason
Flora's caretaker, Mbuva, has been with Flora for a long time. When questioned by the detectives, he shed a bit of light on the situation by saying how Flora didn't want to be found.
He also went on to express how he could tell that a lot happened to Flora earlier in her life. It was clear by Flora's demeanor that she had been through a lot and when she had a chance to bail, she took it.
Put to Bed
Sullivan County was able to close the case on Flora, despite the fact that all this time they were searching for Flora Stevens and not Flora Harris. Still, they deserved it due to how many man-hours and years it took to solve it.
According to her caregiver and others who have spent time around her, Flora's catchphrase was always "none of your business." Flora clearly never wanted people to know where she was.
While it may have taken 42 years to find Flora, the detectives solved more than one case. They figured out who the remains, that Salomon found, belonged to as well as what happened to Flora.
The most important thing was that Flora was safe and sound. When the detectives left Flora, she simply gave them a smile and a wave and wished them well. Surely it was the happy ending that the detectives were hoping for.
Popular Sports Reporter Goes Missing
This is the story of Courtney Roland, a young woman from Texas. Like many natives of her southern state, loving sports was in her blood – she practically ate, slept, and breathed sports. And in particular, she loved football.
As a student at Texas A&M University, she began to follow her college football team, eventually becoming one of their biggest fans. When they played their home games, she could always be found front and center, cheering them on with a big smile on her face.
A Career in Sports
Although Courtney had always loved sports, she considered it more of a hobby, and never thought about doing anything sports-related as a career. But when she decided to attend Texas A&M University, she began to think differently about her future prospects.
The degrees she undertook were in journalism and communications, but Courtney began to realize that these subjects could have applications in other areas. And so she started to seek out ways of bringing her passion and her skills together.
Finding Her Way
The first step on this new journey for Courtney was a sports internship at a local television station, KPRC Click 2 Houston. This small role led to her next break, a reporter job with Rivals.com, a website that covers college football and basketball recruiting.
It was this position that established Courtney firmly in the world of sports and led to a number of reporting jobs over the next few years. With all this experience on her resume, was able to successfully land a job as host of an outdoor program for Mossy Oak.
Her Passion Remained
These sporting and lifestyle jobs were a great move forward for Courtney and her career, and there’s no doubt she would continue to make strides in these fields. But her love of football remained at the forefront.
To keep in touch with this passion, she continued to take jobs as a football reporter for both her old college and for local high schools. She became well known locally for her reporting and sports writing but little did she know she was about to become famous for a very different reason.
The Mystery Begins
This mysterious series of events began on January 6, 2018. That Saturday the tryouts for the Team Texas Elite football were being held. Courtney attended the event and was seen by several witnesses leaving in an Uber after the tryouts.
Although no one saw her arrive home, it appeared that she did so successfully. When her roommate came back to the apartment later that night, Courtney’s car was gone and she assumed that Courtney had picked it up after the tryouts.
A Troubling Text Message
There was no reason for Courtney’s roommate to believe that anything was amiss, and assumed the young reporter was simply out for the evening. However, all of that changed when sometime after midnight, Courtney's roommate received a troubling text message.
The message was something of a shock and had worrying implications. Courtney revealed to her roommate that she had been at the local Walgreens, but as she was leaving, she realized she was being followed by a blue truck.
Silence From Courtney
Of course, upon receiving this disturbing news, Courtney’s roommate was eager to get as much information about the events as possible. She immediately texted back hoping to find all she could about the blue truck.
But despite the efforts from her roommate, there was no more to be heard from Courtney. In fact, the initial message was the last one that she sent. Her roommate was calm and simply assumed Courtney’s phone battery had gone flat and decided the best thing she could do was wait for her arrival home.
The Police Get Involved
While waiting for Courtney to return home, her roommate had fallen asleep. So it wasn’t until the sun came up the next morning that she realized there was still no sign of the young woman or her car.
It was at this point that she accepted there was cause for some serious concern. Fearing the worst, she thought she had no choice but to reach out to Courtney’s family and let them know all that had happened. Later that afternoon, with still no news of their daughter, Courtney's family filed a missing person report.
Her Family Reaches Out
Once the missing person's report had been made, local police immediately began their search for the young woman. Apart from the text that her roommate had received, there was no clue as to where Courtney might be or what might have happened to her.
By this stage, her parents were obviously distressed and desperate for answers. Although they knew the police were on the case, they felt that they had to do something to help. So, they reached out to local television station KHOU11 to make a public plea for Courtney’s return.
A Heartfelt Plea
Knowing that his message was being relayed to the greater public, Courtney’s father Steve began by showing compassion for his daughter’s possible captor, “If somebody has her, we just want to tell them that we love you too."
He then continued, "And I know Courtney would be praying for you because that's the way she was. She cared about other people." With this message, he hoped to inspire some empathy to anyone who was keeping Courtney against her will.
Still No Sign
But if the family had hoped that this message would provide the dramatic release of their daughter, they were going to be disappointed. Despite the broadcast, there was no helpful information from the public that would help determine her whereabouts.
As more time passed with still no sign of the young reporter, both the family and the police began to grow increasingly worried. And as Sunday rolled into Monday, they knew that the chances of finding her safe were becoming more unlikely.
A Clue at Last
Despite the challenges that faced them, the local police remained determined to discover what had happened. In their search for answers, they once again returned to the places where Courtney was last known to have been.
This vigilance paid off for the Houston PD. By combing the area around where they knew she had been, they finally made a breakthrough on the case. In the parking lot outside the local Galleria shopping mall, they found the young woman’s car.
The Car Is Empty
Unfortunately, this discovery didn’t provide the happy end to the story that they were expecting. Inside the car, they found all of Courtney’s personal belongings, but there was no sign of the car’s owner.
They found her cellphone, which indeed had gone flat sometime after that last text message to her roommate. But what could have prompted Courtney to leave her car, her phone, and all of her other belongings behind, and why hadn’t she returned home?
An Unlikely Sighting
After the broadcast of the family’s message on television, and the normal way that news spreads by word of mouth, by now the whole local community knew about Courtney’s disappearance, meaning many people were on high alert.
One person, in particular, had their eyes open that morning. A customer at a nearby Chick-Fil-A was just eating their breakfast when they spotted someone who looked very familiar. A young blonde woman matching Courtney’s description was wandering around outside the restaurant.
In a Daze
As this sharp-eyed customer continued to watch the young woman walk around outside of the fast-food restaurant, they realized that something wasn’t quite right. She appeared to be disoriented and confused, and almost seemed as if she was looking for something.
This strange behavior, along with the woman’s appearance, led this early morning diner to believe that they were looking at none other than Courtney Roland. They phoned the local police department and asked them to come to the restaurant straight away.
Even though the police arrived quickly, by the time they got there, the young woman was nowhere to be seen. They began to search the area around the restaurant, wondering where she could have gotten to so quickly.
However, as they were still looking, they received another piece of good luck. A call came through from someone else who believed they had spotted the missing reporter. This time, it was the report of a disoriented young woman matching Courtney’s description on the nearby I-610 interstate.
The Young Woman Found
They wasted no time in getting to the scene of where she was last spotted, fearing that she may have wandered off again before they could arrive. However, this time their luck held, as they spotted someone huddled under an overpass.
Even as they approached her, they knew they had found their missing young woman alive and well. Although she was in some kind of a stupor, she could still remember her name and confirmed to the police that she was in fact, Courtney Roland.
Sent to the Hospital
Now that they had safely located the missing reporter, the most important thing was to give her a full health check to make sure her ordeal had not caused her any temporary or permanent damage.
She was taken directly to the Houston Methodist Medical Center for observation, and she remained there for the next five days, recovering. It wasn’t until the next Friday that Courtney was finally well enough to release a statement to the public, explaining what she has been through on that weekend.
The Road to Recovery
She issued her statement on her personal Twitter account, explaining, "After undergoing five days of extensive testing, doctors determined I suffered an adverse reaction to my prescription medication."
She went on to reassure her followers that she was on the mend and looking forward to getting back to her normal life, tweeting, "I am doing much better and look forward to returning back to work covering Texas A&M football for Rivals.com when the time is right."