Runaway Mom Lands in Jail

A Pennsylvania mother who was thought to be dead after she went missing in 2002 is now in a Florida jail.

The Pensacola News Journal reported that 53-year-old Brenda Heist is being held without bond under the alias "Kelsie Smith" at the Santa Rosa County jail for a probation violation.

Investigators launched an extensive search after she dropped her children off at school in 2002 and disappeared.

Heist went to the Key Largo police last month and told them she had decided to walk away from her family more than 10 years ago and that she was considered a missing person.

Heist’s daughter Morgan Heist spoke about the pain caused by her mother’s disappearance.

"I ached every birthday, every Christmas," said 19-year-old Morgan Heist, a freshman at a community college outside Philadelphia. "My heart just ached. I wasn't mad at her. I wanted her to be there because I thought something had happened to her. I wish I had never cried."

Morgan’s father Lee Heist hoped his ex-wife would get better.

"Based on what I've seen and heard, I just wish that she'll get well, whatever the problems are and I hope she'll be able to go on with her life," said Lee Heist.

Brenda Heist was on probation in the Florida Panhandle for using someone else's identification during a traffic stop.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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