He brought her to the doctor that day, but this story is far from normal. He waited for his wife to finish, but she was not there even after several hours. The receptionists confirmed she was no longer there.
Nowhere In Sight
He returned as promised. However, his wife did not meet him like she was meant to. What could have happened to this woman? Where did she go? In the end, the answer only came out 42 years later.
Nothing More Than A Cold
He dropped her off with the doctor for her appointment. There did not seem to be any problem. His wife suffered from a bad head cold. He took her there and promised to come back in an hour or so.
She was Florence “Flora” Stevens. Her husband last saw her on the 3rd of August 1975. She was 36 years old and full of life. What could have happened on that specific day? Where did this lady go?
A Resort In The Catskills
Flora had been working at a resort in the Catskill Mountains during the summer of 1975. The Concord was a huge 1,200-room resort. It was popular among the tourists since it was a huge complex!
From the job application she sent in, detectives found out that she attended Lincoln High School in New York. They had limited information about her, but we do know that her husband was Robert Stevens.
Opening The Case
No one knew where she went! They opened an investigation to look into it, and many volunteered to go and look for the missing woman. The case puzzled everyone. Where could this nice woman have gone?
The End Of The Road
They did not find a lot of clues. It also did not help that Flora did not have any living relatives that they knew of. It was pretty much impossible to find out more about her past as well. It was a dead end!
No One Could Have Known
Sadly, this case simply went cold. They had no idea about what happened to this poor woman. Back then, there was no way to predict that this case would get reopened many decades after it happened.
Senior Investigator Yan Salomon
In 2017, the breakthrough of sorts could be attributed to the work of a senior investigator by the name of Yan Solomon. This New York State Police officer found something that cracked the case open.
It had something to do with the disappearance of Flora Stevens. We know that you have a lot of questions about this. We will get to it in no time at all! Where could she have been all this time?
However, it did not sound like Yan Salomon of the New York State Police had good news. He found a woman, it was true, but only the skeletal remains of one! He also needed help to identify who it was.
Make Some Calls
He got on the phone to make a couple of calls. He called the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office in the hopes of talking to a detective. He found the remains near the Catskills and said he needed help with it.
It might sound shocking, but the truth is that approximately 70,000 women go missing every year. It was hard to solve this problem on his own. We are glad to hear that Yan Salomon had a great idea.
Information At Their Disposal
In January 2016, the United States had 21,894 active cases of women who have gone missing. They have the records of cold cases in storage, so it was possible for him to access all the important information.
Looking For Her
Salomon knew that this was not going to be easy. This was the reason he created a team that can check these open cases and then compare them to the information they had about the body.
Welcome To Sullivan County
It might have been a long shot, but he dropped by Sullivan County for research purposes. He hoped to make this investigation simpler by conducting some local searches. Did this help him identify the body?
An Open Case
With his background, he could tell that the woman hailed from this area. He heard about an open case in the county that matched his findings! He only had to look hard to find the answers to his questions.
Looking For Answers
Did he get the answer to this mystery? Salomon spoke to the detectives because he wanted to check the case file for a woman. He hoped to look if she had any living relatives. Sadly, there weren’t any.
It All Came Together
It goes without saying that this case file was pretty old. The investigation was launched in 1975 and failed to dig up a lot of information. However, it clicked. Salomon thought he finally had the answer.
He let the Sullivan County detectives handle the case. It went to Det. Rich Morgan. Now, it was up to him to compare the two cases. After reading the case file, he was able to find out something new.
Connecting The Dots
The case file had her work ID in it. That was how they found out that she worked at the Catskill Mountains! It was the same location of the body remains that had been found. What did this mean?
Flora Stevens had been 36 years old when she vanished into thin air back in 1975. Get ready, this case is about to take a strange turn. What could have possibly happened when they looked more into it?
The Missing Woman
Detective Morgan was responsible for solving the puzzle that has left everyone confused for such a long time. What did he find out when he started to take a closer look at the disappearance of Flora Stevens?
Looked Far And Wide
When Flora disappeared, her spouse looked far and wide for her. He took her to her medical appointment but failed to show up at the time that they both agreed on. But where did she go?
Another Dead End
After it happened, he asked the police for help. Sadly, they did not find more information about her. Her husband died a decade after she went missing. It was starting to look hopeless for the authorities.
How Would He Do It?
Det. Morgan knew that this was going to be hard to solve. For one thing, she had no relatives that they could speak to. He did not know how he could prove that she was the woman found by Salomon.
Her Social Security Number
One thing that he did was to go through the local and national databases. It was then that he made a stunning discovery. Who could possibly be using the social security number of Flora Stevens?
250 Miles From There
The detective was able to track it down. The number was being used north of Boston. It was already shocking to hear this, but what shocked him the most was that it was used at an assisted living facility!
A Different Last Name
Morgan gave the establishment a call. The staff informed him that the account belonged to Flora, who had been living there since 2001. However, the last names did not match! She used Harris, not Stevens.
Det. Morgan was accompanied by one more investigator when he went to the facility. They were both in disbelief at what they found. The investigation was going differently from how they thought it would be.
Possible Identity Theft
“Same first name, different last name, but same birth date and social security,” Det. Morgan explained when he talked to CBS Boston. They had to talk to this Flora. Was it nothing more than identity theft?
Just Her Photograph
They brought the sole photo of Flora Stevens that they had in the database. It was the photo from the work ID she used when she worked at the Catskills. They introduced themselves to Flora at the facility.
She grabbed the photo and pointed at it. “She says that’s me, or me, she responded with one word, me,” Det. Morgan narrated. After they showed her a photo of her husband, she replied, “Robert.”
She Couldn’t Remember
Sadly, they were unable to get answers from the old woman about her disappearance. You see, she was suffering from dementia. This was the reason she failed to explain what happened in the past 42 years.
An Abusive Husband
“We really don’t know the circumstances of why or how she disappeared. She had psychiatric problems leading up to that point,” explained Det. Morgan. It was a good thing that Mbuva, her caregiver, was able to reveal parts of her old life. Flora told him that she had a bad marriage and an abusive spouse.
Maybe She Ran
A number of detectives believe that she decided to skip town and run away from her terrible marriage. “Most of the secrets are locked inside of Flora, and I don’t think we’ll ever get them,” Det. Morgan said.
She Didn’t Want To Be Found
“To be honest, I don’t think she ever really wanted to be found. You can tell something happened in her past that she didn’t want any part of,” said Festus Mbuva. He has looked after her for over a decade!
Flora grew up in Yonkers. She was fond of saying, ‘None of your business.’ Eric Chaboty of Sullivan County said, “It’s a neat feeling [to find someone]. The main thing is we know that Flora is safe.”
Solved But Unsolved
At last, Sullivan County was able to solve the case. Flora Harris was indeed Flora Stevens! “It is not too often that you get to solve a 42-year-old missing person case,” explained Sheriff Mike Schiff.
A Smile And Wave
It took them 42 years to find out what happened to Flora Stevens. Did it take that long for Matt and Laura to be reunited? These two were childhood sweethearts who got separated after preschool…
From A Young Age
Matt and Laura first met 25 years ago at a preschool in Arizona. Both 3 years old, Matt saw Laura on the playground. They struck up a quick friendship! They went on to be inseparable not long after this.
The Early Days
“I don’t remember the first time I saw her, but she was always a girl who let me follow her around,” Matt said when he spoke to Today. This would lead to an incredible thing later on!
They became even closer when they went on a school trip. The kids had to partner up with a “safety buddy.” They picked each other and stayed attached for the entirety of that field trip. Aww!
Laura found out that Matt was warm and kind-hearted. He only wanted to be friends with her! The two soon became best friends. They started to do everything, from playing to skipping nap time, together.
Not Just At Preschool
The time they spent at school was just not enough. When their parents earned about their close and unique bond, they began to make playdates for the kids. Sometimes, they brought them to the movies!
When they went to the movies, Matt and Laura bonded some more. It was clear that he cared a lot for his friend! He liked to hold her hand during the scary parts of the movie.
The Lion King was one of his favorite movies! Other kids liked to brag about their parents. However, Matt liked to recite lines from that animated film. This was how he liked to impress Laura!
We have no doubts that he impressed Laura with his recital skills! However, she also impressed him by teaching him how to use the swings, draw rolling hills, and eat string cheese properly. What a smart gal!
Winning Her Over
The school had a Cinco De Mayo celebration. Matt impressed Laura by cracking the pinata when no one else could. He said, “Fortunately, I was the kid who managed to do it and I assume it got her attention.”
When they were four years old, Laura and Matt were already quite the “love birds.” They might have been very young, but Matt did not want to hide how he felt about his best friend!
Declaring His Love
Matt took it upon himself to let all of his classmates know that he plans to marry Laura in the future. They thought that it was funny, but he only told them, “Just you wait!”
They stuck by each other and liked to spend time together at their birthday parties. Matt and Laura continued to spend time with each other and go on adventures. However, things were about to change!
Fearing The Future
There were a lot of things they had to worry about. Would they be in the same class? This thought was not pleasant at all for this pair of young children. They were scared at the thought of separation!
The reality was worse than that. It was not only that they would be in different classes, but they went to different schools as well. They were enrolled by region, so it was not up to their parents. However, their folks promised that they would still arrange playdates for them.
As promised, their parents brought the two of them together on some weekends. Matt and Laura got to talk about their new schools and friends. They now had separate lives from each other, after all.
The weekly visits became less frequent as time went on. They were growing up and getting busier. Matt and Laura were no longer in kindergarten. The photo below shows the two of them one Christmas day.
Time went on. Soon enough, their only contact would be the Christmas cards they sent each other each year. They were starting to drift apart! They had new friends, but their bond was still something special.
The years passed by. Soon enough, the Christmas cards no longer arrived. It goes without saying that the changes were not their fault. Matt and Laura were simply growing up and apart from each other.
Kindergarten seemed very far away from high school. It was not a surprise that they did not think of each other anymore. However, one thing happened that would change everything for the two of them.
When Laura was in her freshman year, she had been using her friend’s phone. Her eyes landed on a name that looked very familiar to her. She was shocked by what she was looking at!
Laura could not believe it when she saw “Matt Grodsky” on the phone. It was the name of her childhood sweetheart! She remembered all the memories she had with him. Her friend even saw her go pale.
A Different Plan
When Laura was able to regain her composure at last, she told her friend about what they had in the past. Her friend knew Matt from middle school and wanted to help unite the childhood sweethearts!
Setting Them Up
Their mutual friend was blown away by their story. She wanted to set them up once more! Laura was not sure about this plan. It has been such a long time. How would things go if they meet up again?
They talked about Matt, but Laura did not know if she wanted a boyfriend. “I was a freshman in high school so I was like, ‘I don’t think so!’” she recounted to People. She felt nervous but allowed her friend to give Matt her phone number anyway.
When Matt got her number, he felt the need to message his old friend. He texted her, but he was not sure where it would go. When Laura finally replied, he knew that there was no need to worry.
Upon seeing his childhood friend for the first time again, Matt noticed how infectious her smile still was. Here was what he said about how he felt about seeing her that way: “She always had a huge smile.”
The First Date
Soon enough, Laura and Matt agreed to go to the movies together. It was just like the old days. According to Matt, it felt like love at first sight. The two of them got along immediately once more.
Like Old Times
Their first real date went was perfect. They became boyfriend and girlfriend for real after that. They could now drive as well, so it did not matter that they went to different schools. Of course, they went as each other’s dates during school functions.
College Coming Up
They might have been separated before, but college was a different ballgame. They wanted to remain together but had different plans for college. “Right after we graduated from high school, we were pretty hesitant,” Laura explained to People. “We were like, ‘Do we stay together? Do we try to make it work?’”
They did not want the other to miss out on a unique college experience, however. Matt planned to go to Columbia College in Chicago, whereas Laura wanted to go to Northern Arizona University. The schools were 1,600 miles apart!
Staying In Touch
It was hard to keep a long-distance relationship, but they were both determined. Even though they lived far away from each other, they talked every single day. They also visited each other when they could!
They were glad that social media made things a lot easier. Despite this, Laura and Matt missed each other a lot. They once had to spend six long months apart! He knew that this could not go on anymore.
The Perfect Throwback
Soon enough, they were now senior college students. Matt had a unique date in mind! He planned a picnic for them at their old preschool. However, that was not all that there was to this date of theirs.
A Secret Plan
“I convinced Laura that we were going to a picnic at the preschool. We had just finished up our junior year of college, so I framed it as a nice relaxing date,” he recounted. Matt had something on his mind, but Laura had no idea about it.
Back To Their Roots
After hearing that he was taking them to the preschool, Laura was filled with emotions. She was moved that he came up with such a lovely idea for a date! It was, after all, where they first met.
Matt’s Strange Behavior
They were on the way there when Laura noticed how fidgety Matt had been acting. Laura thought he was just nervous and excited about the date. However, he was still behaving like that when they arrived!
The Big Move
She eventually realized that everything was not what it seemed. Matt went on his knee, looked her right in the eye, brought out a ring, and asked, “Will you marry me?” She said, “’YES!’ I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, is this happening?’ I saw the ring and was like, ‘This is gorgeous. I’m so happy with it.’ I had no idea!”
Apparently, Matt was very concerned that he would lose the ring while he was doing this. “I kept checking my pocket when she wasn’t looking to make sure the ring was still there,” he explained.
On the 23rd of May 2015, Matt asked Laura to marry him. However, he had already started to plan it out months before this! For one thing, he already made sure to talk to Laura’s father to ask for his blessing.
Going All Out
Matt bought the ring and asked his brother for a favor. The hero of the story wanted him to stay in the bushes and record it all using a video camera. He hoped to capture every single moment on film.
The Picnic Basket
Matt talked to his parents and borrowed their picnic basket. It was not your normal basket either. This was the same one that his father used to propose to his mother! That makes it even more special!
A Special Place
They had been in the same spot that Matt had been standing on when he proclaimed that he was going to marry Laura! “I proposed to her at the place it all began… our preschool classroom,” he told the Huffington Post. “When you like someone, you just kind of stand up and say it.”
Tying The Knot
Matt and Laura got married on the 30th of December 2016. Remember what Matt’s favorite movie was as a kid? It is so perfect that their first dance was set to “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John!
Their friends and family were all there at the Arizona Historical Society for the big event. His uncle got to talk about their relationship too: “For most kids in preschool, it’s about finding your snacks and your sleeping mats, but for them it was about finding their soulmates.”
For Social Media
They were millennials, so it was a given that they would share their wedding photos on Facebook and Instagram. They did so with their friends and family in mind, but the story reached farther than that.
Laura’s Dad Speaks Out
During the wedding ceremony, her father talked about how they adopted Laura from an orphanage back in India. It turns out that he and her mother had a great love story to share with everyone as well!
Their Own Long Distance Relationship
Her dad had been on tour in India for around a year. At the time, he was already with her mother. She eventually landed a job at the American embassy there. Finally, the two of them could be together!
Visiting The Orphanage
They soon got married. Her mother told him about this orphanage that was full of children in need. They decided to pay it a visit to see the kids. The wedding guests were all intrigued by this story of theirs!
They saw many kids spread across the rooms. They headed for the one with babies, which was where they found Laura. At the time, the poor girl had double pneumonia and had tubes and drips in her body.
Not Leaving Without Her
The couple was already determined to adopt Laura, but there was a policy that dictated which baby could be adopted by whom. However, there was no way that they were going to take no for an answer!
A Different Place
Laura’s dad knew that they had to go about this in a different way. It was risky, but it was worth it. They were both working at the embassy by then, and he managed to ‘bribe’ them with American items!
Back To Now
If this did not happen, Laura and Matt would not have found each other. At the ceremony, Matt’s uncle had words of wisdom to share: “Love is not one moment, not even this moment – it’s every moment.”
Dancing For Love
“Our favorite part of the wedding was the dancing and having everyone we love there to celebrate with us,” the couple said in reference to their wedding ceremony. “We tore it up on the dance floor and it was great being surrounded by everyone who played a part in bringing us together.” How lovely!
After the wedding, Matt and Laura flew to Maui for their honeymoon. Their life was already a fairytale, and they went to paradise to cap it off. However, this was not where the story ends just yet.
The Way We Met
Laura shared their story with the whole world as well. She shared an old and new photo of her and Matt with “The Way We Met.” This is an Instagram account that shares lovely stories about couples.
A Big Hit
Clearly, they had a unique story to tell. However, they were surprised to see that it went viral. About his feelings for Laura, Matt said, “I was enamored with Laura as a child, and I still am to this day.”
The Instagram went on to get 30,000 likes and nearly 1,000 comments. The post even ended up getting 400,000 interactions! If that was not enough, various media outlets wanted to talk to them about it too!
Social Media’s Feelings
It does sound like something that you will only see in the movies. However, there were other people out there who had a similar story! Sadly, there were more people who ended up losing contact instead.
More Than They Thought
Their influence was more than just nostalgia. Many interracial couples heard about the story and had something to say about it. A few came forward to let them know that they inspired them to stay strong!
Their story was even heard by Tyrese Gibson from the Fast and the Furious franchise. He was so touched by it that he decided to do something nice for Matt and Laura. What was it?
Treating The Couple
Tyrese Gibson has previously said that he loves a good love story. This might just be the best one he has ever heard! He got to talk to Matt and Laura about it. He even offered them a 3-day Florida trip! The couple wants to take him up on it.
The Grodskys’ Future
They now live together in Arizona. They have their whole lives ahead of them! Now married for two years, Matt is now an account executive working at a digital marketing agency. Laura, on the other hand, works at a non-profit organization for foster children. They bought a place of their own recently!
It did not take them long to take the next step. They are now parents… kind of. Matt and Laura are the proud parents of a puppy called Kirby! However, do they plan to have kids of their own as well?
People asked Matt and Laura about their plans about starting a family. They replied, “We would love to have kids at some point. Right now we are focused on our new puppy Kirby and our new house.”
What A Journey
It has been quite a journey for these two. They fell in love, got separated, reunited, and finally got it right. “The best thing about our relationship is we are just silly and we appreciate each other every day,” they explained. “Having gone through a long distance relationship, you learn really quick how much the other person means to you and we value our time.”
The Best In Each-Other
“My favorite thing about Matt is his humor, he always makes me happy and he is the most driven person I know,” Laura shared, “He is always moving forward.” Now, let us find out what Matt has to say about her: “My favorite thing about Laura is her infectious smile and her desire to help those who are less fortunate. She is a force for good and it’s inspiring to be around her every day.”
The Moment They’d Been Waiting For
To this day, there are times when they look back on the day of the wedding and wonder. It was amazing that they never forget about each other. Getting married was special, but that’s not all there was to it…
A Wedding To Look Back On
In many weddings, one of the most anticipated moments would be the throwing of the bouquet. This could cause a lot of stress and fights, but everyone had been in good spirits as they tied the knot.
Celebrating Their Love
For Matt and Laura, every single day is a celebration of their love. It is deeper than the fact that they got married and want a family together. Clearly, the two of them have always been meant to be together!
One Small Step
This is just the beginning for Matt and Laura. Now that they are married, they can achieve many things together. We are sure that the two of them are bound to do great things in the future!