A housewife's life turned into an almost unsolvable mystery when she disappeared without a trace. Her family was devastated, and they never stopped looking for her.
In New South Wales, Australia, the longest-running missing person's case had police and family members confused for decades. Loved ones were forced to live their lives without the presence of their mother, often wondering if she was still alive.
Vera Daisy Brown was an average housewife who raised her children until they were in their twenties. However, everything changed at the start of 1972 when she vanished without an explanation.
[Left] Vera Brown reunites with her children after three decades apart; [Right] Son picks up his mother during an emotional reunion. | Source: youtube.com/60 Minutes Australia
SHE WAS REPORTED MISSING
Gwen and Ray knew their then-46-year-old mother had taken a vacation with a mystery man in Brisbane. They never imagined that she would leave them behind for decades to come.
Initially, Brown sent confusing letters about her whereabouts, but those stopped coming in November 1972. Consequently, the children reported her as a missing person and hoped the police would find her.
Vera Brown before she went missing in 1972. | Source: youtube.com/60 Minutes Australia
SHE DID NOT WANT TO BE FOUND
Sadly, authorities revealed that finding someone who did not want to be found was difficult. It was believed that Brown willingly stayed away from her family.
While her kids experienced different emotions ranging from anger to sadness, they still dreamed about the day they would see their mother again.
Daughter becomes emotional before reconnecting with her mother after 32 years apart. | Source: youtube.com/60 Minutes Australia
HER REMARKABLE STORY
Finally, in 2004, after the man she had lived with for three decades died, Brown was located by police and ready to tell her long-awaited story.
The mystery man who promised her the world also told her a string of lies. He purportedly told Brown that debt collectors were looking for them and managed to keep her from family.
Vera Brown tells the story of her disappearance. | Source: youtube.com/60 Minutes Australia
SHE WAS MANIPULATED
Over the years, the couple changed their identities and avoided the police. Brown shared that she regretted falling for him and his manipulation.
"I didn't see through his lies. I thought it was all true. To my sorrow, I stuck by him. I'll tell you that now I am sorry I stuck by him."
Vera Brown's case was solved after 32 years. | Source: youtube.com/60 Minutes Australia
THE EMOTIONAL REUNION
Brown's children were emotional as they drove to see their mother for the first time in over three decades. Her son stated: "Sometimes it's negative inside me, sometimes it's positive, my emotions that is."
In a video shared last year, Brown's children and grandchildren arrived at her house, and both sides were extremely nervous. Brown said she would not blame her kids if they hated her.
Vera Brown and her daughter reunite. | Source: youtube.com/60 Minutes Australia
THEY FORGAVE HER
There were lots of tears and emotions as the family reconnected. Graciously, they welcomed Brown with open arms and chose to forgive her actions.
"I don't think you can ever make up for the lost time. We'll make the most of what time we've got."
ANOTHER WOMAN MYSTERIOUSLY VANISHED
Missing person cases do not always involve people who were kidnapped. In certain instances, people choose to vanish, which happened with a teen in 1997. Fourteen-year-old Crystal disappeared and left her mother heartbroken.
Cynthia Haag never stopped looking for her daughter, and in 2018 she finally received the call she longed for. Crystal explained that she ran away to New York because she had an unhappy childhood. The path to rebuilding their bond was not easy.
However, Haag was grateful for the opportunity. Similarly, Vera Brown's family struggled to make sense of her disappearance, but they were also glad to reconnect with her again.