Mother-of-three missing for 42 years found alive and well after decades hiding from family

Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller, now 69, found living in Texas four decades after she fled home believing she was too young to be a mother

A mother-of-three who vanished 42 years ago has been found alive and living under a false name.

Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller admitted her identity after being tracked down in Texas by police looking into her case.

She had been missing since leaving home in 1974 shortly after giving birth to her third child. 

Then aged 28, she had decided she was too young to be a mother and signed custody of her children over to her parents. 

Indiana State Police Detective Sgt. Scott Jarvis began looking for her in January 2014 after receiving a request from the Doe Network – a volunteer organisation which helps hunt for unidentified and missing people. 

The detective had arranged for a body buried in an unmarked grave to be exhumed and DNA analysis to be carried out. 

But while this was underway, Sgt Jarvis began to follow the trail of a women with similarities to Ms Gillespie-Miller who was living in Texas. 

He eventually tracked her down and knocked on her door – where she admitted to being Lula Gillespie-Miller. 

She has not committed a crime, and is currently electing to keep her assumed identity secret.

Police said her youngest daughter, Tammy Miller, who she has never known, hopes to speak to her over the coming days. 

Todd Matthews, a Doe Network spokesman, said that after 42 years “the likelihood she was dead was far greater than she was alive".

The Doe Network, an international charity, specialises in cold cases in which missing individuals have not been seen in many years and are often deceased.