Mom says woman found after 11 years is doing OK

Posted at 7:14 AM, May 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-03 03:16:10-04

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The mother of a woman who surfaced 11 years after disappearing and leaving behind her young children says her daughter is doing OK but "had a real traumatic time."


      Jean Copenhaver, of Brenham, Texas, spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday about her 54-year-old daughter, Brenda Heist.


      Copenhaver says she's spoken with Heist several times since Friday, when her daughter turned herself in to police in Florida and was identified as a missing person.


      Copenhaver says Heist plans to live with her, but for now she's staying with a brother in northern Florida.


      Heist told police she made a spur-of-the-moment decision in 2002 to join a group of homeless hitchhikers on their way to Florida, walking out on her 8-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son.