Mother Believed Dead Returns 11 Years Later

Brenda Heist seemingly vanished after dropping her two children off at school in 2002.
1:59 | 05/03/13

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Transcript for Mother Believed Dead Returns 11 Years Later
Now to that strange story of the young mother who vanished 11 years ago. Police and her family never thought they will find her alive declared legally dead and resurfaced and stirring up controversy and complicated emotions. Abc's linsey davis has the story. Reporter: This morning the question of pennsylvania family and a nation is asking is how did brenda heist go from being a well-kept soccer mom to a woman living in a florida homeless community? For more than continue years lee heist thought his wife was dead after she vanished in 2002. Now comes news she's alive. Certainly shocked me and I'm sure it shocked everybody that knows her. Reporter: Police say the mother of two decided to swap in her soccer mom lifestyle to hitchhike with three strangers for one month before reaching southern florida. Details are still emerging about what the one-time bookkeeper did in the last decade but it's reported she spent much of it scavenging for food. She looked as if she let herself go. She looked as if she was not caring for herself. Reporter: Why did she disame are peer. She explained she just snapped. Reporter: Lee heist was initially a suspect in his wife's disappearance. There were people in the neighborhood who would not allow their children to play with my children because of what they perceived I might be and that hurt me more than just about anything else. Reporter: Heist is reportedly now staying with a brother in northern florida and communicating with her mother via phone. Her two children were just 8 and 1 when she disappeared. They're now adults. Yesterday her daughter morgan, now 19, says she wants nothing to do with her mother calling her decision to abandon her family selfish. There is a lot to sort out here. There's a warrant related issue. She now has a death certificate, her former husband has collected a life insurance policy on her and he has since remarried. Really an unusual one. Amazing that swung could disappear for that long. Linsey, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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