Fue a la sala de urgencias de un hospital en Nueva York y desapareció: tras 32 años de misterio, se supo qué ocurrió / Mysterious cold case of a woman who disappeared from New York ER in 1990

Myrtle Brown estaba en la Gran Manzana visitando a una amiga cuando le robaron el bolso con su medicación para la epilepsia. Comenzó a sentirse mal y fue al hospital. Su familia no volvió a saber nada de ella. Hasta que un equipo de forenses descubrió la verdad

Era mayo de 1990 y Myrtle Brown, de 35 años, había viajado a Nueva York para visitar a su mejor amiga. Lo que debía ser un viaje agradable comenzó mal desde el principio: le robaron el bolso, donde tenía su identificación y su medicamento para la epilepsia que tomaba regularmente.

De pronto se sintió mal, por lo que llamó a su familia para avisarles que iba a acercarse a un hospital para que le renovaran la medicación. Ésa fue la última vez que escucharon su voz, porque, luego de decir que iba a ir a la sala de emergencias del King’s County Hospital en Brooklyn, Myrtle Brown desapareció.

Su hija, Eboney, tenía 13 años en ese momento, y no sabía que no vería nunca más a su mamá. “Terminó yendo sola y ese fue el último momento en el que supimos de ella”, dijo en una entrevista con NBC.

Durante semanas y semanas, toda la familia de Myrtle recorrió sin parar hospitales y comisarías de Nueva York para tratar de encontrarla, pero no descubrieron ningún dato que pudiese darles una pista sobre su paradero. “Pensé que tal vez solo quería algo diferente, tal vez, de la vida. Estaba confundida y triste”, recordó su hija.

Era mayo de 1990 y Myrtle Brown, de 35 años, había viajado a Nueva York para visitar a su mejor amiga

32 años después, haciendo zapping en la televisión, el hermano de Myrtle, Robert, se puso a ver el programa de NBC “Nightly News con Lester Holt”. Ese día, estaba dedicado a contar el trabajo de un equipo de médicos y antropólogos forenses que se dedicababa a resolver casos cerrados en la Oficina del Médico Forense Jefe de la ciudad de Nueva York.

Este equipo de profesionales estaba dirigido por la doctora Angela Soler, y bajo su liderazgo se buscaba esclarecer casi 1250 casos de personas no identificadas, en su mayoría de los años ‘90.

Y de repente algo llamó su atención: se trataba de un identikit de una mujer negra, de unos 30 años, con rasgos familiares. Se trataba de una reconstrucción facial, una herramienta muy utilizada para recrear cómo hubiera sido el rostro de la persona a partir de un modelo de arcilla.

A Robert esa reconstrucción lo hizo saltar de su silla: “Vi a una joven que podría ser o no mi hermana, y me dije a mí mismo: ‘Vaya, me pregunto si podría ser ella’”.

Apenas dos días después, Robert y su esposa decidieron contactar al equipo de médicos forenses. Así, Soler y su equipo se pusieron al frente del caso de Myrtle Brown.

Angela Soler (izq) le muestra a NBC su laboratorio (NBC)

Fueron meses de trabajo. Horas de revisar incontables registros de muertes de personas sin identificar o de desaparecidos sin nombre verificado. Luego de una investigación exhaustiva, llegó a su conclusión: la persona sin identificar de la que habían hecho la recreación no era Myrtle Brown.

Sin embargo, el equipo de Soler tenía toda la información necesaria para encontrarla. “Eché un vistazo a la reconstrucción y me di cuenta, está bien, probablemente estoy buscando a una mujer negra de mediana edad”, dijo Soler a NBC. “Todo coincidía con lo que la familia nos decía, y también nos informaron que ella despareció en mayo de 1990. Así que sabía exactamente por dónde empezar mi búsqueda”.

Y por fin encontró un registro interesante, el de una mujer que había fallecido el 17 de mayo de 1990. “Ella falleció en Brooklyn, lo que coincidió con la familia que me dijo que solía recibir atención médica en Brooklyn. Tenía un nombre presunto que coincidía, una fecha de nacimiento presunta que coincidía, y la familia había dado información médica sobre su ser querido desaparecido que también coincidía con lo que estaba en el expediente del caso”.

Así, Robert Brown recibió la llamada que había estado esperando hacía más de tres décadas.

Soler les explicó a él y a Eboney que creía haber encontrado a su hermana y a su madre y les dio una foto de la persona fallecida para confirmar si era Myrtle o no. Robert tardó un segundo en reconocerla, pero Eboney lo supo de inmediato.

Y con esa noticia pudieron saber, después de tanto tiempo, qué era lo que había pasado.

Myrtle nunca fue admitida en el King’s County Hospital, pero había estado esperando en la sala de emergencia cuando tuvo una convulsión y murió.

Myrtle solo le había dado al hospital su nombre y fecha de nacimiento, y como le habían robado su identificación, eso era todo lo que se sabía.

Así, 32 años después, la familia Brown realizó un memorial virtual, en paz, al fin, gracias a la verdad.

Myrtle y Ebonie Brown

Mysterious cold case of a woman who disappeared from New York ER in 1990 is SOLVED 32 years later as it’s revealed she DIED in hospital and went unidentified for decades until her brother reignited search

  • Myrtle Brown went missing at the age of 35, in 1990 in New York; her fate remained unknown until her brother Robert Brown tuned into a TV segment 
  • The more than three-decade cold case was solved by a chance encounter with a news broadcast about unidentified bodies
  • Robert thought the identified woman he saw on TV was his sister and phoned the cold case team who revealed it wasn’t his sister, but got to work on Myrtle’s case 
  • 32 years after Brown went missing, her brother and her daughter Eboney Brown received a call that they had found a match 
  • The Brown family found out their mother died from a seizure while waiting in the emergency room of a hospital, but were finally at peace after all the wondering

When a mother went to a hospital and never returned again, her children set out on a mission to find the answer, but it wasn’t until 30 years later they found out what happened to their mother.

Myrtle Brown went missing at the age of 35, in 1990 while visiting her friends in New York; her fate remained unknown until her brother Robert Brown had a fortuitous encounter with a TV special about unidentified bodies.

The more than three-decade cold case was solved by a chance encounter with a news broadcast, but prior to the TV segment, the Brown family suffered for 32 years, constantly agonizing about where their mother could be.

Robert and Eboney revealed that their beloved sister and mother had last told them she was going to the hospital to get a refill on her epilepsy medication after her purse was stolen

While Myrtle was visiting friends in New York, her purse, which had her epilepsy medication inside, was stolen

After her purse was snatched, she phoned daughter Eboney Brown, who was 13 at the time, and the rest of her family to detail what had happened and let them she know she was headed to the King’s County Hospital in Brooklyn to refill her medication.

In an interview with NBC, Eboney said: ‘She ended up going by herself and then that was the last moment, you know, we ever heard from her.’

Mrytle’s family searched high and low for her, visiting local police stations and hospitals, but were never able to find their mother.

‘I never thought she passed away.

‘I thought maybe she just wanted something different, maybe, out of life. I didn’t know, to be honest, I was just confused and sad,’ her daughter said.

The family went wondering what became of their loved one for 32 years, until one day, Robert turned on the TV and began watching NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.

At the time, there was a special about cold cases and it discussed the team of people who investigated these unsolved mysteries that traced back decades.

One of the team members was Dr. Angela Soler, assistant director of forensic anthropology, who shared that the team managed nearly 1,250 unidentified person cases.

While watching, Robert spotted an image on a missing person’s poster of a facial reconstruction, which is a tool the cold case team used to recreate facial structure and features with a clay model to help catch the attention of those watching. 

‘I saw a young lady that could be or could not have been my sister.  

‘And I said to myself, ”Wow, I wonder if that could be her,”’ Robert told NBC. 

The more than three-decade cold case was solved by a chance encounter with a news broadcast about unidentified bodies

Two days after the segment aired, Robert and his wife called the medical examiner’s office in hopes of finding his sister. 

Although the woman Robert saw wasn’t his sister, Soler and her team had everything they needed to get to work to reveal the truth about what happened to Myrtle. 

Soler said: ‘I took a look at the reconstruction and noticed, OK, I’m probably looking for a middle-aged Black woman.

‘It all matched with what the family was telling us, and we were also informed that she went missing in May of 1990. So I knew exactly where to start my search.’

Soler reviewed over two weeks of records labeled ‘unverified unknowns’ over the span of two months. 

She started her search by reviewing May 1, 1990 death dates, until she reached an individual who had passed away on May 17, 1990.

‘In this instance, the contextual information included the date that she passed away.

‘She passed away in Brooklyn, which matched the family telling me that she used to receive medical care in Brooklyn.

‘She had a presumptive name that matched, a presumptive date of birth that matched, and the family had given some medical information about their missing loved one that also matched what was in the case file,’ Soler revealed to NBC.

Soler than called Robert and gave him the news he had been waiting for for over three decades. 

Soler explained to Robert and Eboney that she believed they had found his sister and her mother. 

Eboney asked for a photo of the deceased person to confirm whether or not it was Myrtle. 

And while it took Robert a second to realize it was Myrtle, Eboney knew immediately and felt like she had been transported back in time.

‘As soon as I saw the photo… just, you know it, you knew it was her,’ Eboney said.

The family then finally learned the truth about what happened to Myrtle. 

Myrtle was never admitted into the King’s County Hospital, but the Robert and Eboney learned that she had been waiting in the emergency and had a seizure and died. 

Myrtle had only given the hospital her name and date of birth.  

The Brown family was able to hold a virtual memorial for Myrtle and noted that they were finally at peace after finding out what happened. 

And although the recreation Robert saw wasn’t Myrtle, Soler said it emphasizes the importance of people stepping forward and encourages other families to do the same. 

‘Even though it didn’t end up being the individual the recreation was based on, it helped us resolve a case.

‘It made a difference. And that’s the whole point is … to get people to stop and think for a moment and follow through and give us a phone call,’ she said. 

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