New Jersey

Mystery Solved: Lost Woman Sitting on New Jersey Bench Identified as Missing Mother

It turns out the woman, who has a husband in Arizona, had been missing for months

What to Know

  • Police in New Jersey say they've identified the mystery of the lost woman found sitting on a bench Tuesday
  • The woman couldn't remember her name but kept telling police she got into an accident in Washington state a year ago and walked from there
  • A Facebook post asking for tips finally helped solve the mystery Thursday

The mystery of a lost, disoriented woman found sitting on a bench in New Jersey Tuesday has been solved, thanks to tips that poured in to a local police department after it put out a plea on Facebook asking for help identifying her. 

Norwood Police say the woman was born and raised in Philadelphia, and has a husband in Arizona. She had been missing for months, and a Norwood public works crew found her sitting on a bench on Livingston Street Tuesday. 

The woman, who appeared neatly dressed but very confused, told police she'd gotten into a car accident in Washington state around a year ago, and had walked to New Jersey from the west coast, police said. She referred to herself as a veteran who may have served in Bosnia.

"She wasn't giving us the full story," said Norwood Police Chief Jeffrey Krapels. "She didn't remember her name, she didn't know where she is, and when she does talk, she just talks about her service in various wars."

Then late Thursday afternoon, detectives started figuring out the mystery. 

The woman, who is not being named in deference to the family, has one daughter in Philadelphia and another in Nebraska. Both called police in Norwood after learning of their Facebook post. The woman had been missing for six months. 

"I always turn it around, how would you feel if you were missing a loved one," said Krapels. "You would do all you can to get them back home, that's all."

The daughters will fly into New Jersey Friday to pick up their mother, who had been hospitalized at New Bridge Medical Center. 

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