Judith Bello was last seen Dec. 13, 1993, at 9:30 a.m., when she left her job at the National Food Corporation in Silvana with a friend.
She did not pick up her son from daycare, and she did not make it to her home in the 19800 block of Saratoga Drive in Stanwood, said Kevin L. Prentiss of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.
Her car was later found abandoned at the Stanwood Post Office. Detectives from the Major Crimes Unit were assigned the investigation and have been looking for Bello since that time.
Bello was featured on a deck of playing cards (the 8 of hearts) distributed by detectives which profiled 52 unsolved homicides and missing persons in Snohomish County, and has also been featured by CrimeStoppers of Puget Sound.
On Nov. 23, 2011, a woman claiming to be Judith Bello left a telephone message for sheriff's detectives indicating she was alive and living in the state of California. Bello said she saw her profile on the sheriff's office website.
Since then, detectives have been attempting to verify that the woman who left the phone message was actually Judith Bello.
Through follow-up investigation, detectives have determined that Bello is alive and residing in California, Prentiss said. Their investigation revealed that she left Washington state in 1994 due to domestic issues involving her husband.
It's unknown why she chose California or why she had not contacted either her family or the sheriff's office to verify she was alive and well. The sheriff's office will be closing the investigation into her disappearance.