In late 1962, a Melbourne, Australia woman named Janina Wojcik told her husband she was going away on an extended vacation. She was in her forties at the time. A few months later, she still hadn’t sent word or returned home, so her family reported her missing. The investigation went nowhere, the case went cold and Janina’s husband eventually died without ever finding out what happened to her.
Well, the police just confirmed that they’ve located Janina and she died in Canberra, Australia (something like six and a half hours’ drive from Melbourne) of natural causes in 2010, at the age of 87.
Janina was used to moving around: she became a displaced person in Europe in World War II, then emigrated to Australia. It appears she left with another man, whom she married in 1977, and they lived together until his death in 1994. There is no mention of any children from her first marriage, and by the time of her second I would think she’d have been too old.
As longtime readers of this blog well know, I think walking out on your family without even leaving a goodbye note saying it’s not foul play is an awful thing to do. But I am trying to cut Janina some slack here: she was a victim of war, apparently traumatized; one of the articles quoted a niece saying she “suffered from paranoia.” I’m glad, anyway, that from all appearances she went to a better life and wasn’t murdered.
This reminds me of similar cases where adults left of their own accord and turned up many decades later, and they’re either alive and well or they lived out their lives and died at a ripe old age years before: the Rains-Kracman/Uphoff case, the Gavin case, the Johnson case, etc.
A few articles:
Woman who vanished from her Melbourne home 54 years is found dead aged 87 in Canberra
Police say missing Altona woman died in Canberra six years ago
Mysterious Altona woman disappeared and created a new life for herself interstate