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Missing Pa. mom easy to find now -- in jail

Brenda Heist 11 years ago (left) and in April upon resurfacing after 11 years missing.
Brenda Heist 11 years ago (left) and in April upon resurfacing after 11 years missing.Lititz Borough Police via AP

The Pennsylvania woman who disappeared in 2002 and was declared legally dead in 2010 only to resurface in Florida in April is now facing a year in jail.

Brenda Heist left behind a husband and two young children in Lititz, Pa., leaving dinner on the table and a load of laundry in the wash when she bolted.

After 11 years missing -- and presumed dead -- Heist, 54, turned herself into the Monroe County Sherriff’s office on April 26. She said she thought she was wanted in a county nearby.

“I don’t know if she was wanted in another county or not,” said Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe County, Fla., Sheriff’s office. “She turned herself into us because she said she was tired and didn’t want to be missing anymore.”

It was at the Monroe County Sherriff’s Office that she revealed she was a missing person, which police authorities later confirmed.

She had been arrested on Feb. 15 for stealing an ID of a person she worked for and using it at a traffic stop. In April, she pleaded no contest to the charges and was placed on probation for three years.

In May, she was arrested for violating that probation by failing to check in with authorities.

Circuit Judge David Rimmer sentenced her Wednesday to 364 days in county jail, according to Joan Malley, deputy clerk for Santa Rosa County. She was accredited with serving 100 days toward that sentence.

When Heist resurfaced, her family back in Pennsylvania said they did not plan to see or talk to her.

“It’s not that I hate her,” Morgan Heist, Brenda Heist’s 19-year-old daughter, told “I just don’t think she deserves to be in my life at this point.”

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