Missing Pa. woman gets one year in jail

7:38 AM, Jun 12, 2013   |    comments
A A Brenda Heist, shown in an undated photo, left, and in 2013, was found in Florida after being missing for 11 years. Brenda Heist, shown in an undated photo, left, and in 2013, was found in Florida after being missing for 11 years.
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(PNJ.com) - A Pennsylvania woman who disappeared in 2002 and reemerged in Florida in late April will spend a year in jail for violating her probation on forgery charges.

Brenda Heist, who is known in the Santa Rosa County court system as Kelsie Smith, pleaded no contest Tuesday morning to failing to check in with authorities in the Tampa area after leaving the Pensacola area following her release from jail in April.

Circuit Judge David Rimmer sentenced her to a year in jail.

Heist, 53, disappeared from her home and family in Lititz, Pa., 11 years ago. She was declared legally dead in 2010, only to turn herself in to Monroe County sheriff's deputies April 26. Only then did she tell deputies that she was a missing person.

Monroe authorities released her after she was interviewed, but she was arrested on a probation-violation warrant May 3 in Alachua County.

Multiple Escambia and Santa Rosa residents said they knew Heist as "Lovie" and that she lived in the area for several years.

But they also said she never mentioned having a family. Court records show that Heist claimed her parents were deceased and that she was a widow.

Her jail stint stems from a Feb. 15 arrest for stealing an ID from a Milton resident whose house she cleaned and using it during a traffic stop. She pleaded no contest to the charges in April.

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