LAUREL, Ind. (KWQC) – Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller was 28 back in 1974 when she gave birth to her third child in Laurel, Indiana.
She then decided she was too young to be a mother, signed her children over to her parents, left home, and was never seen again by her family.
In 2014, the Doe Network, which helps families with missing person investigations, contacted the Indiana State Police (ISP) with details of Gillespie-Miller’s disappearance.
ISP was told the last contact family members had with her was a 1975 letter postmarked Richmond, Indiana.
Detective Sergeant Scott Jarvis took the case, and, using DNA from Gillespie-Miller’s daughter, checked to see if an unidentified female body discovered in Richmond in 1975 was that of Gillespie-Miller.
It was not.
Jarvis then began to investigate the trail of a woman who sounded similar to Gillespie-Miller, a woman who had lived in Tennessee in the 1980’s and was said to have later moved to Texas.
He heard of a woman residing in a small south Texas town since the 1990’s, possibly still alive, possibly under an alias.
Texas Rangers went to the woman’s home, and she admitted she is indeed Lula Gillespie-Miller, now 69, from Laurel, Indiana.
“We’re delighted!” said Todd Matthews, Doe Network media representative.
Matthews tells KWQC that Doe Network specializes in cold cases in which missing individuals have not been seen in many years and are often deceased.
He says Gillespie-Miller’s case is rare because, after 42 years, “The likelihood she was dead was far greater than she was alive.”
Police say she is unable to explain why she left her life behind in 1974, but she committed no crime in doing so.
Gillespie-Miller has given investigators permission to provide her contact information to her daughter, Tammy Miller.
This Easter weekend, Miller hopes to make contact with the mother she has never known.