biographical data

Patricia Kopta biography: 10 things about Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania woman

Patricia Kopta was a model and a dance instructor before she became a street preacher known as The Sparrow in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. She suffered from mental health issues and feared being institutionalized, according to her family.

Kopta was originally from Ross Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Here are 10 more things about her:

  1. She had a twin sister.
  2. She is 5 years older than her sister Gloria Smith.
  3. She is 3 years younger than Robert “Bob” Kopta. They first met near a river in Pittsburgh where he had a boat. He gave her and her friends a ride. Before marrying him, she would vacation often in Puerto Rico with her friends.
  4. After graduating high school, she worked in finance at a plate glass company in Pittsburgh and would attend ballroom dancing events weekly. After 10 years in the company, she resigned because of migraines that doctors blamed on stress. She later worked at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh as an elevator operator and started preaching around Pittsburgh. Diagnosed with delusions of grandeur and schizophrenia, she was briefly institutionalized then kept preaching upon her release.
  5. In 1972, she and Bob got married. He worked as a truck driver.
  6. On June 20, 1992, she disappeared from Pittsburgh. Unbeknownst to her family, she went to Puerto Rico and wandered the island’s northern towns of Naranjito, Corozal and Toa Alta.
  7. On November 27, 1992, Bob reported her missing. Her family believed she took a flight to Puerto Rico after her disappearance and spent a week or two there before returning to Pittsburgh.
  8. In 1999, she checked into an adult care center in Puerto Rico and refused to discuss her personal life. She told social workers she had come to the island on a cruise ship from Europe. In the same year, Bob obtained a death declaration.
  9. As she began to suffer from dementia, she revealed some details of her life to a social worker, who then contacted an International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) agent in 2022. The agent contacted Ross Township deputy police chief Brian Kohlhepp.
  10. She was 83 years old when Bob and Smith were informed in March 2023 that she was found alive in a nursing home in Puerto Rico. Her twin sister had died without knowing she was still alive.

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