Two Canadian sisters who went missing more than 30 years ago have been found safe in the U.S. and reportedly told police officers they didn't even know they were the subjects of a decades-long missing persons search (photo below).
Anna Hakze, who is now 67, and Kym Hakze, who is now 53, were last seen by family members in Alberta, Canada, in the mid 1980s after the death of their father, reports the Calgary Sun.
Neither sister had a good relationship with their mother, and the two lost touch with other family members.
"After so many years, it’s very unusual for a case like this to end with good news," Staff Sgt. Scott Woods of the Lethbridge Police Service said on March 2. "Usually we find ourselves telling a family their loved one has met with some sort of tragedy or, more often than not in a case of this age, never being able to provide any answers."
Authorities suspected for many years the women had been killed by convicted serial killer Robert Pickton in Vancouver, although they found no DNA evidence to support this theory, notes The Canadian Press.
After a series of dead ends, officers received a tip in 2012 there were two women who could be the Hakze sisters. Years later, online searches related to this tip helped them positively identify the two, one of whom was the author of several books. Both were using aliases.
"Today's world is big, vast,'"said Woods. "But it also -- because of travel and now the Internet -- can be very small, too."
Police have not released detailed information about where the sisters live in the U.S. or their new identities to protect their privacy.
Their mother, with whom neither of the sisters got along, reported them missing in 2003. She died several years ago.
"She never knew and that's very sad," said Anna and Kim's brother, Ken, notes the Calgary Sun. "She always wanted to reconcile."
Ken said he and his two brothers were overjoyed to learn their sisters were alive and hope the news is a new beginning for them.
"It's not a sense of closure," he explained. "There's a longing there to see them. I'm very sad we lost all these years for some reason I'm not quite sure of yet. I have a real desire to see them and communicate with them, very badly. My heart goes out to have that opportunity if they would soften their hearts to that."