Indiana Mother Missing Since 1974 Found Alive and Well in Texas
An Indiana mother of three who vanished without a trace in 1974 has been found alive in Texas.
Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller was 28 when she signed away her parental rights to her three children, including a newborn, over to her parents.
A letter her parents received was postmarked from Richmond, Indiana in 1975 and was the last time they heard from Gillespie-Miller.
Gillespie-Miller thought she was too young for motherhood, she reportedly told her parents. For the next four decades, she was a missing person in the state of Indiana.
According to the Indiana State Police, that all changed after Detective Sergeant Scott Jarvis took the case in January 2014. The Doe Network, a group that assists families with missing persons investigations, initially contacted ISP about Gillespie-Miller.
Gillespie-Miller began his search in Richmond, where he discovered a case of a Jane Doe whose body was buried in an unmarked grave in the Indiana town.
The detective took a sample of Gillespie-Miller's daughter's DNA to compare to her missing mother's and potentially determine whether the buried body was hers.
While awaiting the DNA test results, police said Jarvis' investigation took him in some new directions.
He began to following the trail of a woman with similarities to Gillespie-Miller who had lived in Tennessee in the 1980’s, then moved to Texas.
That trail led to a woman who'd been living in a small Texas town since the 1990's, possibly under an alias.
After this past Thursday, Jarvis would no longer need the DNA results after Texas Rangers the detective asked to visit the woman in Texas made contact.
Police say the woman admitted to them that she is, indeed, Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller.
She is now 69 years old.
Gillespie-Miller has committed no crime, police say. Authorities will not reveal exactly where she now resides because she also retains her right to anonymity.
However, she gave police permission to give her daughter Tammy Miller her address so the two might soon reconnect.
However, Tammy told PEOPLE that's simply not going to happen.
"I'm angry," Miller, 45, said in her first extensive interview. "This isn't going to be one of those happy, made-for-TV movies."