(The AEGIS Alliance) – An elderly woman who went missing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1992 and was declared dead has been identified alive in a Puerto Rico assisted living facility at the age of 82.
After going missing, Patricia Kopta, who suffers from dementia, was found at an adult care home 1,700 miles away from her home. She claimed to have arrived on the island via a European cruise ship. Prior to her disappearance, she had a history of psychological issues.
During a media briefing on Thursday, Patricia Kopta’s husband, Bob Kopta, and sister, Gloria Smith, expressed their relief at her discovery, saying, “You wouldn’t believe what we’ve been through. It’s such a relief to know she’s alive.”
Kopta’s husband stated that she was a typical suburban woman who attended church and became increasingly fervent about her faith prior to her disappearance. She started going to downtown Pittsburgh to warn people that the end of the world was approaching.
Her husband speculated that something must have happened to Patricia, as she was not previously inclined towards extreme beliefs. He said, “Somebody got to her because she started on this whole ‘the world is going to end’ thing.”
Due to her small build and distinctive gait, Kopta was nicknamed “The Sparrow” by those who saw her as she made her rounds.
Around the beginning of 1992, Kopta began having encounters with law enforcement, leading to an arrest in Monroeville. Following this incident, medical professionals determined that she was experiencing delusions of grandeur. Shortly thereafter, she disappeared.
Kopta’s spouse filed a missing persons report with Ross Township police in 1992. He eventually had Kopta declared dead, but never again married.
In 2022, Ross deputy police chief Brian Kohlhepp received information from an Interpol agent and a social worker in Puerto Rico that a woman wandering through several towns about 20 miles southwest of San Juan may be the missing Patricia Kopta. As they spoke with her, it became increasingly apparent that she might be Kopta. DNA testing confirmed her identity.
Kohlhepp reported that Kopta is currently “alive and well for her age and condition.”
While Kopta’s husband and sister wish to bring her back to the Pennsylvania suburb she left decades ago, Kopta has expressed her desire to remain in Puerto Rico with her caregivers at the assisted living facility. Despite this, Smith said she is considering booking a flight to reunite with her sister.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.