Search continues for Montgomery County woman as police release new details about her disappearance
GAITHERSBURG, Md. - There are new questions about the mysterious disappearance of a woman from the White Oak area of Montgomery County.
Police initially said that 68-year-old Brenda Hopkins was last seen by her sister on Aug. 8 when Brenda left to walk to the store. But now, four weeks later, police said they have found no evidence to support that.
"There has been some inconsistencies in some of the information that we received," said Officer Rick Goodale, spokesperson for Montgomery County police. "So right now, detectives are just trying to actually nail down exactly when she was last seen and who last talked to her."
Police said the last time they are certain Hopkins was seen in public was on July 12 when multiple people saw her outside of her home.
"That is the last date that we know somebody physically saw her," Goodale said.
Police said that on Aug. 1, relatives believe they heard Hopkins in the background of a phone conversation they were having with her sister.
Hopkins, who worked as a real estate attorney, lives with her sister, Michelle. In an interview last month, Michelle told FOX 5 her sister left to walk to buy cigarettes at the White Oak Shopping Center at New Hampshire Avenue and Columbia Pike. She said her sister never returned.
"I just don't know," Michelle said. "I don't know why this has happened to her or what is actually happening to her.
Adding to the mystery, Hopkins left behind her purse and wallet, and investigators have found no evidence she owned a cell phone.
Goodale said investigators have looked through her house for clues and brought canines to search on the route Hopkins walked to the shopping center.
"They canvassed that entire area, and there was no evidence located that indicated anything happened to her in that area," he said. "So at this point, we just don't know."
Most of Hopkins' family lives in North Carolina. FOX 5 talked to two relatives who said they have noticed Hopkins has had memory issues in the last two years. One noted that Alzheimer's runs in the family.
Police said there is a small chance Hopkins could have been trying to get to North Carolina.
Anyone with information regarding Hopkins' whereabouts is asked to contact Montgomery County police's Missing Persons Unit at 240-773-5070 or the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.