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Brenda Heist Declared Dead, Found Alive After 11 Years

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  • Brenda Heist
    (Photo: Twitter)
    Brenda Heist 11 years ago (l) and today (r).
By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
May 2, 2013|10:10 am

Brenda Heist has been found alive after allegedly walking away from her former life 11 years ago. Heist finally revealed her true identity to police and said that she had basically been homeless for the past years and wanted to reconnect with her family.

"She said the thought of her family and children everyday and her parents. However, she never acted on that, never made any phone calls, not one," Detective John Schofield told the Associated Press. "She said she was at the end of her rope, she was tired of running."

Heist had been having health issues and went to the police department in Key Largo, Fla. to turn herself in. She told police she couldn't handle the stress of a divorce and the idea of being homeless after being turned down for housing assistance. She dropped her two children off at school and was sitting in a local park when she was approached by strangers who invited her to go to Florida with them.

Lee Heist, her ex-husband, had Brenda legally declared dead in 2010 after no contact with her for eight years. He has expressed his anger at Brenda for abandoning their children, who were eight and 12 at the time she disappeared. The children have expressed interest in reconnecting with their mother, but everyone is taking it slow in order to remain safe.

Right now Heist is in police custody in Florida but is hoping to move to Texas to be with her mother. Police are working to figure out a warrant-related issue before releasing her, though they did not say what the issue actually was or what the warrant was for.

"She has a birth certificate and a death certificate, so she's got a long ways to make this right again. She's got to take it slow with her family, I'm sure, and it's going to be a long process," Schofield told the Huffington Post.

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