(CNN) -- A Pennsylvania woman who mysteriously disappeared 11 years ago has resurfaced in Florida, saying that she just walked out on her family, her life and her problems.
Brenda Heist, 54, turned herself into authorities in Key Largo, Florida on Friday, informing them that she thought she might be wanted in another county.
The responding officer checked her name and saw that she was listed as "missing and possibly deceased" from Lititz, Pennsylvania, according to a news release from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Florida.
Authorities in Monroe County immediately contacted the Lititz Borough Police, informing them that Heist was in their custody.
After exchanging pictures and details, Detective Sgt. John Schofield confirmed that it was indeed the Brenda Heist he had been searching for since 2002.
"Two days later, I flew down to Florida to meet with her," said Schofield.
Heist disappeared February 2002, last seen dropping off her children at school.
She was going through a divorce from then-husband Lee Heist and was applying for housing assistance so that she could get her own apartment.
She worked as a bookkeeper for a car dealer and hoped to receive some financial aid.
However, her request was denied, Schofield said.
"She was very upset, she was sitting in a park crying, thinking about how she would raise her children, feeling sorry for herself," he said.
It wasn't long before she was approached by two males and a female who asked her what was wrong. After she told them what had happened, they invited her to hitchhike with them down to Florida.
"At a whim, she decided at that very moment, she would go along with them," said Schofield.
Schofield spoke to Heist at length, and she explained where she had been for the past 11 years.
"She was very emotional; she hung her head; she's ashamed. She was crying when I met with her. She knows what she did was completely wrong, but all that while, she'd never made one effort to call or contact her family at all," Schofield said.