Daughter voices anger at mom found after 11 years

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 2, 2013 at 8:39 pm •  Published: May 2, 2013
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"We're getting several calls from people down in Florida that knew her who want to say she's not being truthful with us," Schofield said.

Heist told a detective with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office that she had recently been arrested in the Tampa Bay area and might be in violation of probation. She told the detective she used the name Kelsie Lyanne Smith and provided a date of birth.

Jail and court records show Kelsie Lyanne Smith, with a matching birth date, was arrested in January on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and providing false identification to law enforcement. After pleading guilty, Smith was sentenced to time served and was released on Feb. 13. She was also ordered to pay court costs but failed to do so and was found delinquent on April 15.

Copenhaver said she has not pressed her daughter about what led her to walk away from the life she knew in Pennsylvania and then live underground for more than a decade.

"We haven't gone into that with her," Copenhaver said. "She just needs time to recover, and have some peace and that. She'll tell us when she's ready."

She agreed to pass along a message from The Associated Press, asking Brenda Heist for an interview.

Heist told police she contacted them after feeling like she was at the end of her rope and tired of running.

"She's doing OK," Copenhaver said. "She's got a long way to go. She had a real traumatic time, but she's doing OK."

She said Heist was born in South Carolina, then moved as her father was transferred by the Air Force to Italy and Missouri before ending up in San Antonio, where she graduated from high school.

When she vanished, Lee Heist was investigated but was cleared as a suspect. He raised the children without Brenda and got the courts to declare her legally dead. He has since remarried.

Police erroneously said Wednesday that Morgan Heist was a sophomore at West Chester University. She is a freshman at Montgomery County Community College.

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Associated Press writer Curt Anderson in Miami contributed to this report.